76ers Markelle Fultz is out indefinitely after his injury has been diagnosed as thoracic outlet syndrome!
…But what the hell is that?
Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is more common than the name sounds. Its symptoms involve pain and/or sensation loss in your shoulder/arm that can travel all the way down to your hand. The neurogenic type of TOS that Markelle has been diagnosed with is the most common type of TOS and presents with pain, weakness, and occasionally loss of muscle at the base of the thumb.
The problem on TOS lies on the sensitive structures (neurovascular bundle) getting pinched and compressed while entering/leaving the thoracic cavity to/from your arms. The space where these sensitive structures travel through is called the thoracic Inlet. (so technically it should be called thoracic INLET syndrome, NOT outlet… but I digress)
When the neurovascular bundle travels out of the thoracic inlet and neck, there happens to be a specific, very narrow, spot called scalene triangle. This triangle is bordered by the first rib and scalene muscles. This very narrow space is one of the areas where compression of neurovascular bundle can occur. The second road block where issues can occur is the space underneath the clavicle and pectorals minor, both of which travel above the neuromuscular bundle and connect to the scapula.
TOS has been shown more frequently in people who performs repetitive, whip like, motions very often. (frequent injury in baseball players).
Physical Therapy has been shown to be the most effective intervention to improve the symptoms caused by Thoracic outlet syndrome.
Our interventions are noninvasive, safe and should always be the first choice. Decompression surgery is dangerous and is not always effective. You can expect Merkelle Fultz to be going through extensive physical therapy now to get back on the court.
If you feel like you may suffer from TOS, come to Transform rehabilitation and we can determine if physical therapy is right for you! •
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