Neurogenic TOS is by far the most common type of TOS. Unfortunately, it is also the most difficult type of TOS to diagnose. In the first place, patients experience a broad range of signs and symptoms. At the same time, doctors are often not aware of the diagnosis, or inexperienced in diagnosing these patients. Nonetheless, early diagnosis makes a critical difference in treatment outcomes. As a result, modern imaging plays a vital role for doctors and patients with.
Causes of Neurogenic TOS
The brachial plexus arises from five nerve roots leaving the spinal cord of the neck. After leaving the spinal cord, the nerve roots form the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus is a large network of nerves that controls all motor and sensory function in each arm. When compression of the brachial plexus occurs, patients experience pain, sensory loss and weakness.
Symptoms of Neurogenic TOS
Patients often experience sensory symptoms first. These include pain, numbness and tingling. Additionally, as the disease progresses, patients may note loss of coordination, or weakness of grip. Also, dysregulation of blood flow may cause temperature changes of the arm, hand or fingers.
Diagnosis of Neurogenic TOS
Doctors often find a challenge when trying to diagnose neurogenic TOS. The signs and symptoms are often confusing and non-specific. However, an experienced TOS specialist knows the specialized tests that can help improve the clinical diagnosis.
Treatment of Neurogenic TOS
In general, treatment aims to eliminate compression of the brachial plexus. Most patients enter a conservative treatment protocol for 6 to 12 months. Specifically, conservative treatment may include breathing control and postural retraining, physical therapy, and pain management. However, if conservative measures fail, surgeons may remove the first rib, cervical rib, fibrous bands, and scalene muscles.