Long-Term Disability Lawyers for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is an upper extremity impairment that affects the nerves and blood vessels in the thoracic outlet – the space between your collarbone and your first rib. It can cause pain and other symptoms, such as tingling and numbness in your shoulder, arm, or hand, and can be serious if left untreated. Many people develop thoracic outlet syndrome after years of repetitive motions at their job or after a car accident, rendering them unable to continue working.
If you cannot work due to thoracic outlet syndrome and are considering claiming long-term disability, an upper extremity impairment long-term disability lawyer from Abell and Capitan Law can guide you through the process. Contact our legal team today at (267) 419-7888 for a free legal consultation.
What Is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?
Thoracic outlet syndrome is a group of disorders that occur when there is compression of the nerves, blood vessels, or both in the thoracic outlet between your collarbone and your first rib. It is a painful disorder that can cause neck, shoulder, arm, and hand symptoms. TOS is typically caused by physical or work-related activities such as overhead reaching or lifting. It can also be caused by poor posture or an anatomical abnormality, such as an extra rib. Treatment for TOS typically includes physical therapy, lifestyle changes, or even surgery.
The most common type of TOS is neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome (NTOS). This type occurs when the nerves in the thoracic outlet are compressed, causing pain, numbness, tingling, and sometimes weakness in the shoulder, arm, and hand. Other types of TOS include arterial thoracic outlet syndrome (ATOS) and venous thoracic outlet syndrome (VTOS). In ATOS, a subclavian artery becomes compressed, leading to decreased blood flow to the arm. In VTOS, a subclavian vein is compressed, which leads to blood pooling in the arm and swelling.
What Are the Symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?
Thoracic outlet syndrome affects the nerves and blood vessels in the thoracic outlet area. It is caused by compression or irritation of these structures, usually due to a combination of anatomical and postural factors. Common symptoms of TOS may include:
- Numbness and tingling
- Coldness or color changes in the arm and hand
What Causes Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?
The exact cause of thoracic outlet syndrome is unknown. However, certain factors are known to increase the risk of developing this condition, including:
- Physical trauma or injury to the shoulder, neck, or chest: This includes car accidents, falls, or sports injuries.
- Repetitive activities or motions: People who work in jobs or participate in activities that involve frequent overhead or shoulder-level reaching, such as painting, carpentry, construction workers, hairdressing, and playing instruments, may be at higher risk for developing TOS.
- Poor posture: Slouching or hunching over a desk for long periods can put extra pressure on the muscles and nerves in the thoracic outlet.
- Obesity: Excess weight can pressure the muscles and nerves in the thoracic outlet.
- Anatomical abnormalities: Some people are born with an extra rib in the thoracic outlet area, which can lead to compression and pain.
It is important to note that some people develop this condition without any identifiable cause. If you think you may have TOS, it is important to speak with your doctor to determine the best course of treatment.
How Is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Diagnosed and Treated?
Thoracic outlet syndrome can be diagnosed using physical exams and imaging tests such as an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan. The doctor may also order a nerve conduction test or electromyography to assess the nerves and muscles in the area. Once they confirm a diagnosis, treatment options depend on the underlying cause of the syndrome. Generally, doctors recommend non-surgical treatments first. These can include anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications. These lifestyle modifications include things such as avoiding repetitive activities or changing posture.
In cases where non-surgical treatments do not relieve symptoms, surgery may be necessary. Surgery involves decompressing the nerves and removing any extra tissue that may be causing the compression. This may require removing some of the ribs, muscles, or nerves. Recovery from thoracic outlet syndrome usually takes several months. Physical therapy can help to regain strength and range of motion in the affected area. During recovery, it is important to avoid activities that can cause further irritation to the area.
How a Disability Lawyer Can Help
If you are living with thoracic outlet syndrome and need to claim disability benefits, it may be in your best interest to have an experienced long-term disability lawyer in your corner. A long-term disability attorney helps when your employer’s LTD insurance carrier is trying to deny your benefits. Furthermore, when your privately purchased policy has confusing terms, and you’re not sure what type of benefits you’ve paid for.
Your lawyer will also help you gather evidence to support your case, such as medical records, physician statements, and employment history. Having an experienced lawyer on your side can make a significant difference in the success of your claim.
Speak with a Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Long Term Disability Attorney
If you suffer from thoracic outlet syndrome and need help getting the long-term disability benefits you’ve paid for, speak with an experienced attorney from Abell and Capitan Law.
Our team of experienced long-term disability attorneys is skilled in long-term disability law and understands the complexities of filing a successful application for disability benefits. We can also handle any appeals that may be necessary and represent you if your claim is denied. Our attorneys will advocate for your right to the benefits you deserve and work diligently to ensure the best possible outcome.