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J R Soc Med. 1999 May; 92(5): 239–243.
PMCID: PMC1297175

Two-surgeon approach to thoracic outlet syndrome: long-term outcome.


An orthopaedic surgeon and a vascular surgeon jointly conducted 30 operations for thoracic outlet syndrome in 27 patients, having done the preoperative assessments in conjunction with a neurologist. Anterior scalenectomy was performed by the supraclavicular route except in one case where the infraclavicular route was used. The further surgical procedure was tailored to the abnormalities identified--i.e. resection of cervical rib or band, or medial scalenectomy. The first rib was spared. At median follow-up of 37 months (range 3-228) results were judged excellent or good on 26/30 sides (87%); on the three occasions when scalenectomy alone was performed, the results were only fair or poor. There were no major complications and no patient required reoperation. The long-term outcome in this series suggests that, with multidisciplinary assessment and two-surgeon operative treatment, good results can be obtained by the supraclavicular route without resection of the first rib.

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Selected References

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