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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Thoracic Outlet Syndrome/Brachial Plexopathy. In Memory Of DeAnne Marie.

Sufferring in Orange County, CA

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Unread 03-05-2012, 01:29 PM   #11
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Thanks. Which of the products are you using? http://shop.intelliskin.net/
I wear the POSTURECUE™ V-TEE during the day and the POSTURECUE™ TANK at night. Just be warned that you must raise your arms above your head to get these on over your shoulders. The shirt is very lightweight and just feels like an exercise shirt once you get it on. Shirt can be machine washed but hung to dry.
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Unread 03-05-2012, 11:41 PM   #12
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Default Hi again

I've had tos for about ten years. I am a professional, with several degrees.

I don't want to sound like a pig, herel... But rsd has nothing to do with posture...and if you search rsd or crps, you will see that neuro tos can tip off a skin hot-fire pain for months that is called perhaps the most painful condition of all illnesses.

I have gone through weeks without any, and i mean any sleep. Some of us stop responding because our fingers, hands and forearms puff up, to the point we can't eat, hold a glass, or wipe.

And men and women are so much different... Men get surgery and go on to a modifed type of job where they maybe just talk. Today i went to a doctor's appt. And i am to the point of screaaminggg!

The only thing i can say, friend and human kind, is do not give up. Get free consults. Play it smart. Don't lose your poker face. Advance search my threads also in the work comp section.

It has been the fight of my life, but you will be x age no matter what, so do you want to be x withought help or x with help.

Search my advanced best testing so far.

I cannot give you my name.

God bless you and us as we fight these evil insurance co.s., ok?'

whether politics or not, fight man!
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Unread 03-06-2012, 01:35 AM   #13
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I believe there is a very big difference between men and women in surgery outcomes, how they got TOS and how the TOS reacts.
Thanks for this. I'm blessed to have a physician for a spouse and very good health insurance. My neurologist and neurosurgeon (from my ACDF) are also very supportive and caring and have stayed involved with my case.

I went 5-6 days with only 2-3 hours of sleep per night last week. I finally slept 6 hours last night. I believe the trigger point injections, an increase in Pamelor to 20mg, Norco 5/325, and Mobic combined gave me enough pain relief to sleep. I believe Pamelor has provided the same relief I use to get from Cymbalta (had to stop because of tachacardia) with no noticeable side effects.

The symptoms on my left side are getting worse as my hand went into some wierd spasms trying to type this morning. I've also noticed a loss of dexterity when I hold a phone without even raising my arm. I'm beginning to believe that surgery is imminent. I'm hoping to get some definitive details from the ultrasound with Dr. Ahn tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to it.
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Unread 03-06-2012, 07:26 PM   #14
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Dr. Ahn is a butcher and should be avoided at all costs. Of course that is just my personal opinion based on a friends decompression surgery from him, which had to be corrected by another surgeon later on.


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Originally Posted by nospam View Post
Thanks for this. I'm blessed to have a physician for a spouse and very good health insurance. My neurologist and neurosurgeon (from my ACDF) are also very supportive and caring and have stayed involved with my case.

I went 5-6 days with only 2-3 hours of sleep per night last week. I finally slept 6 hours last night. I believe the trigger point injections, an increase in Pamelor to 20mg, Norco 5/325, and Mobic combined gave me enough pain relief to sleep. I believe Pamelor has provided the same relief I use to get from Cymbalta (had to stop because of tachacardia) with no noticeable side effects.

The symptoms on my left side are getting worse as my hand went into some wierd spasms trying to type this morning. I've also noticed a loss of dexterity when I hold a phone without even raising my arm. I'm beginning to believe that surgery is imminent. I'm hoping to get some definitive details from the ultrasound with Dr. Ahn tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to it.
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Unread 03-06-2012, 07:31 PM   #15
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I saw Dr. Ahn today.

After a review of my history and a brief physical exam, he believes this is TOS. After just a few minutes with him I felt that he is ahead of the curve vs. the other surgeons in this area. Here is why:
  1. He stated that he has now done over 1000 TOS surgeries to date!
  2. He stated that he and Sheldon Jordan no longer use the scalene block or Doppler ultrasound for diagnostics due to false negatives (I had a negative scalene block in 2010). Instead he uses fluoroscopic balloon angioplasty to image where compression is taking place as well as decompress those areas temporarily. It made a hell of a lot of sense to me.
  3. He no longer holds a preferred surgical approach but plans surgery based on the angiogram. He also stated he does not always take the rib either if it is not necessary. He didn't want to talk specific details about surgical procedures until after the angiogram. I really like this vs. what I thought I knew about TOS surgery in my prior research.

My angiogram is scheduled for 4 weeks from now (hopefully, earlier if there is a cancellation). My pain is no different, but I feel better about my outlook and that has helped me feel better overall.

If you are on the fence about Dr. Ahn or are even pursuing conservative treatment options, I highly recommend you consult Dr. Ahn. I am convinced that everyone should have the fluoroscopic balloon angioplasty before going into surgery with any surgeon. Ahn's bedside manner may be relatively cold and clinical, but he sure seems to know what he is doing.

On a side note, UCLA still hasn't gotten back to me regarding the tests and follow up Gelabert ordered.
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Unread 03-06-2012, 07:41 PM   #16
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Dr. Ahn is a butcher and should be avoided at all costs. Of course that is just my personal opinion based on a friends decompression surgery from him, which had to be corrected by another surgeon later on.
Can you send me a link to your friend's story?

All the complaints on here about Ahn seem to be secondhand, or trolls who post a negative comment and are never heard from again. Do you know of anyone here that has posted about a negative outcome with him firsthand?

No surgeon in this world has a 100% success rate. There is a chance that my surgery won't be a success no matter who it is with. I am sorry for your friend, but I think Ahn has proven his competence with TOS.

Thanks for the heads up, I will continue to research.
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Unread 03-08-2012, 11:53 PM   #17
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Numbers dont matter, outcomes do, I agree there are many reasons why people have less than perfect outcomes for tos surgery. That doesnt change incompetance. That being said, everyone is entitled to choose their own surgeon. Do your reasearch and feel comfortable with whomever you choose.
All the best, and I wish you a good outcome.
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Unread 03-09-2012, 11:14 AM   #18
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nospam: I agree with Tossucks commentary on Ahn.

Due diligence on him. If you feel safe and secure in your decision, then that's all that matters, along with a good outcome.
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Unread 03-10-2012, 11:24 AM   #19
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Nospam: How do you feel the Intelliskin differs from the S3? I was prescribed the S3 and it made everything worse. Guaranteed a vaso-spasm as soon as I strapped it on. It now sits dormant collecting dust somewhere.

I showed the S3 to several PT's and none of them liked the design, especially the strapping which runs over the collarbone. The TOS surgeon who prescribed it to me said it was the downfall of the garment, yet thought it would still be beneficial. Although the Intelliskin looks of better design, the ribbing which comes over the shoulder and down over the collarbone harkens of S3 misery. Do you feel downward pressure in this area when you wear it? Thanks.
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Unread 03-10-2012, 01:47 PM   #20
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The S3 brace was useful for one thing. My postural muscles in the back were completely asleep 2 years ago. The S3 brace helped me stretch my overly tight chest muscles so I could activate the muscles in my back. Once I had done that, the S3 brace was nothing but trouble. The S3 brace is cumbersome, overly tight, and has that irritating zipper. Even though they "custom" fitted me at Alignmed in Santa Ana the S3 was never comfortable.

When I showed the S3 to the physical therapists, they did not like it (these therapists shared an office with the physician who prescribed it, not a good sign). It just pulls your shoulder back and down. Not only does it do the work for you, its posture correction is not even correct. Another therapist pointed me to Intellishirt, but I didn't try it until much later. Since insurance paid for the S3 brace, I thought maybe they would pay for Alignmed's PostureShirt...they would not.

I pulled the trigger on the Intellishirt when they released the sleeveless tank version (it was called GUN SHOW at that time). I figured this had to be more comfortable than the S3 and it was. I don't feel the stitching at all, it just feels like an exercise shirt (like Nike DriFit). The only problem I have is that neck bothers me a little. I have a thick neck (17.5") and I don't like shirts touching it (I hate turtlenecks!). The posture correction is mild but effective, you can't really feel a noticeable correction but yet your posture is improved. My therapist says this is because the shirt offers a suggestion/reminder but your muscles are doing the work.

I moved to a new therapist last year because my insurance changed. The new place is actually considering selling the Intellishirt. My therapist tried the Eve shirt for women and she liked it. The only downside was that it could be seen under the short sleeved shirt she wore that day, so it wasn't very fashionable. I'm thinking of buying one for my wife (she gets tensions headaches from bad posture when she is stressed). I just wish these weren't so expensive!

When I saw they had a V-Neck for men I jumped on it. Not only is the neck comfortable for me, the postural correction is better than the tank. Stand with your hands at your sides, keep your arms at your side and rotate your thumbs away from your body. Your posture should automatically correct. This is the effect of the Intellishirt (this is also the most effective stretch for my TOS). I don't notice any downward pressure on the shoulder or collarbone. This shirt is designed to be worn by athletes and exercised in, no one would use it if it were cumbersome.

Maybe your therapist can ask for a sample so the both of you can see it in person and try it out? $100 is a lot of money to take a leap of faith (I was desperate, so I jumped right in when my pain kept getting worse).
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