treatment

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The neurological symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome may be treated conservatively by physiotherapy to improve the muscles which elevate and support the upper limb girdle.

Structural abnormalities should be treated surgically if the vascular or neurological problems are severe. The precise operation will depend upon the abnormality present e.g. division of pectoralis minor tendon, resection of clavicle.

A symptomatic cervical rib may be treated by scalenectomy and / or removal of the accessory rib.

Unusually, a severely damaged section of the artery may have to be replaced by a graft. Afterwards, a chest X-ray should be performed to exclude a pneumothorax.

Last reviewed 01/2018