FREE BOOK THORACIC OUTLET SYNDROME – Chapter III – The Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Controversy


You are reading Chapter III – The Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Controversy



by Dr James Stoxen DC

Chapter III

 The Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Controversy

Table of Contents

The Sonny Burke Story

Chapter I      What is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome? (TOS)
Chapter II     Anatomy 
Chapter III    The TOS Controversy
Chapter IV    History, Cause, and Patient Presentations
Chapter V     Physical Examination Findings
Chapter VI    Diagnostic Tests 
Chapter VII   Standard of Care Approaches – Surgical and Non-Surgical 
Chapter VIII  Frequently Asked Questions 
Chapter IX    Case Histories of Patients 
Chapter X     The Human Spring Approach to Treatment and Prevention

 Chapter III


Thoracic Outlet Syndrome controversy

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is controversial in the medical community.

Here is why…

Under diagnosed or over diagnosed

Some physicians say that this syndrome is under-diagnosed. I read a letter to the editor in a surgical publication, which said that this physician said it was under-diagnosed and that more thoracic outlet syndrome actually existed, while other physicians say it was over-diagnosed. We say that it is under-diagnosed.

No Gold Standard Test Exists

The problem with this syndrome and the difficulty with this syndrome is that many physicians say there is no gold standard tests for thoracic outlet syndrome. In order to diagnose thoracic outlet syndrome you have to put together an array of historical findings, physical findings and a couple of provocative orthopedic tests in the region of the neck and shoulder to be able to make that diagnosis.

The Most common Treatment is Surgery

The most common treatment today for thoracic outlet syndrome is surgery. According to the literature, if you have a group of 500 patients only 10% will respond to conservative therapy, which leads to 90% goiing to surgery. Doctors often times give up on initiating conservative therapy and go directly to surgery. We have to put ourselves in the position of the patient. As you can see on the graphic above we have a thoracic outlet surgery of the neck. There are many tiny important structures in this area.  Patients are in great fear of surgery, especially in the neck so the answer is no patient wants to have this surgery.

Surgery is unnecessary with the right approach

We have a very high rate of recovery from thoracic outlet syndrome with conservative care, and I am very happy to present that form of treatment to you today. I have not referred a patient for surgery for a thoracic outlet syndrome in 18 years of practice. That includes thousands of patients over these 18 years. I was very shocked when I looked into the literature. I am aware of the rhizectomy, removal of the first rib. I was curious about other therapies so I reviewed over 325 scientific papers that discussed conservative methods of therapy, including stretching and what the procedures and protocols were used to treat these patients conservatively.

Why Current Conservative Therapy is Unsuccessful

I think that after reading this, you will find out why these treatments were unsuccessful. You are going to have a better understanding of the most common cause of this syndrome. I feel that with a better understanding of what causes this syndrome, you will have better results with conservative therapy of this syndrome.

Read Chapter IV-History, Causes and Patient Presentations 

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Book

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About Dr James Stoxen DC (282 Posts)

Dr. James Stoxen, D.C., owns and operates Team Doctors Treatment and Training Center. and Team Doctors Sports Medicine and Anti-aging Products. He has been the meet and team chiropractor at many national and world championships. He has been inducted into the prestigious National Hall of Fame, the Personal Trainers Hall of Fame and appointed to serve on the prestigious, Global Advisory Board of The International Sports Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Advisory Board for the American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners. Dr. Stoxen is a sought after speaker, internationally having organized and /or given over 1000 live presentations around the world.(full bio)


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