Treatment for thoracic outlet syndrome varies and is based largely upon the type that you have.
- Neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome
Treatment of neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome almost always begins with physical therapy to stretch and open the space between your collar bone and first rib. Many people improve with this alone. If physical therapy is unsuccessful, your doctor may suggest surgery to remove your first rib and open up your thoracic outlet. In many cases this can bring significant relief.
- Venous thoracic outlet syndrome
If swelling is sudden and severe, medication or an interventional procedure may be needed to remove the clot. This can include directed clot busters with possible ballooning of the blockage. Your doctor may also suggest surgery to remove the rib that is causing the clot. Blood thinners may then be prescribed for several months after the procedure.
- Arterial thoracic outlet syndrome
The treatment for arterial thoracic outlet syndrome will depend upon how you are affected by the compression. If the subclavian artery is damaged, you may require surgery to remove the extra or abnormal ribs along with reconstruction of the artery.