Symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

The most common symptom of thoracic outlet syndrome is pain or numbness in the shoulder, arm, hand and fingers. Other symptoms may include:

  • Weakness of the neck, arm or hand/grip
  • Limited range of arm motion
  • Arm pain, swelling or unusual redness
  • Neck pain
  • Cyanosis (bluish tint to the skin) or lack of color in the arm
  • Cold arm, hand or fingers
  • Weak pulse
  • Muscle wasting at the base of the thumb

A possible complication of thoracic outlet syndrome is a blood clot in a vein of the arm. Blood clots can travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism).

If your arm is suddenly cool to the touch, swollen or a lighter color than the rest of your skin, or if you suddenly have pain while breathing or shortness of breath, seek medical attention immediately.*


If you have back pain, leg pain, and changes in bowel and bladder habits, you should seek an immediate medical evaluation by your physician.