Several weeks later I had an appointment with the surgeon, as he was fully booked out to get in to see him straight away. I took my scans and results with me to show the surgeon to discuss what to do next. During the consultation, after explaining my issue, the surgeon performed a few test similar to the hand therapist. The tests included writing with my left hand, bending and stretching my arm, picking up objects, testing my strength and pain threshold, general movements and exercise to see when the pins and needles occurred compared to my right side. After the examination the surgeon explained to me that yes I definitely have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome which is a compression of nerves in the left clavicle and muscles in my left arm. Corrective surgery can be performed by removal of my first and second rib, and this will alleviate the pain but will leave me with minimal movement, very little feeling in my left arm and I won’t be able to do any of my artwork at all! Certainly not an option he would recommend too many of his patients unless it’s more serious and can’t be maintained with Physiotherapy. He has recommended I visit a physiotherapist for a few months and eventually once or twice a year to maintain regular usage of my left arm and no strenuous activity or heavy lifting.
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