If you are experiencing pain in your shoulders, neck, and arms, and/or numbness or tingling in your hands, you may be suffering from Thoracic outlet syndrome. In Part 1 of this Article Oakland County hand specialist Dr. Uzma Rehman discussed the Causes & Symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
In this article we take a look at how Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is diagnosed and tested in our Macomb and Oakland County hand specialty offices.
Oakland County Board Certified hand specialist Dr. Uzma Rehman will perform a physical exam, review your symptoms, and evaluate your medical history. During the exam, Dr. Rehman typically uses “provocation tests” that can actually reproduce your symptoms, so an accurate diagnosis can be made more easily.
Dr. Rehman will typically have the patient move their neck, shoulders, and arms into specific different positions, such as over the head – or have them open and close their hands for three minutes. If the numbness & tingling or pain develops during provocation test, then Dr. Rehman can determine that the patient likely has thoracic outlet syndrome.
Testing for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (Numb & Tingling Hands)
To confirm a diagnosis of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Dr. Rehman will often order additional testing.
X-rays of the thoracic outlet opening will typically be taken to determine if the patient has an extra rib that is causing the nerve and/or blood vessel compression.
An MRI may also be used to determine the exact location and cause of the compression. An MRI can also reveal any structural abnormalities that could be contributing to the numb & tingling hands.
Electromyography may also be used to determine how well the muscles and nerves that pass through the thoracic outlet are working. During electromyography very fine electrodes are inserted through the skin into different muscles to evaluate the electrical activity of the muscles when contracting and when resting.
A nerve conduction study may also be used to determine if a patient has nerve damage. During this test a low amount of electrical current is used to measure how quickly the patient’s nerves are able send impulses to various muscles in the body.
The recovery outlook for people with thoracic outlet syndrome (Numb & Tingling Hands) is typically very good, especially with early diagnosis and prompt treatment by a hand specialist like Oakland County area hand surgeon Dr. Rehman.
So if you are suffering from Numb & Tingling Hands it is important to contact a hand specialist as soon as possible. Getting rapid and skilled treatment by our Oakland County area hand specialists will only stop the numbness, tingling and pain, but will also prevent serious complications from developing such as permanent neurological damage.
Numb & Tingling Hands – Oakland County Hand Doctor: 248.335.2638