I never much cared for anatomy class. Dead bodies, the cold, and the smell were just not the way I liked to spend an afternoon. Every first year medical student spends hours in the anatomy room because learning the parts is important, but even more important is knowing what those parts do and how they work—functional anatomy. Thankfully, studying functional anatomy requires warm, live people who don’t usually smell. Let’s learn some parts without the smell because if you understand the parts, then you will understand the treatment. Getting down to the framework of your body is the skeleton which holds you upright, otherwise you would be a blob of gooey mush. As part of the skeleton, the spine is your backbone that bridges the span between your head and your butt. Because it is a bridge, the spine has passive, stationary structures (bones, ligaments, and discs) which don’t “do” anything except provide support for the whole body. However, these parts o...
Definition A thoracic spine x-ray is an x-ray of the twelve chest (thoracic) vertebrae. The vertebrae are separated by flat pads of cartilage that cushion them. Alternative Names Vertebral radiography; X-ray - spine; Thoracic x-ray; Spine x-ray; Thoracic spine films; Back films How the test is performed The test is done in a hospital radiology department or in the health care providers office. You will lie on the x-ray table and will be asked to lay in different positions. If the x-ray is to determine an injury, care will be taken to prevent further injury. The x-ray machine will be positioned over the thoracic area of the spine. You will hold your breath as the picture is taken, so that the picture will not be blurry. Usually 2 or 3 x-ray views are needed. How to prepare for the test Inform the health care provider if you are pregnant. Remove all jewelry. How the test will feel Th test causes no discomfort. The table may be cold. Why the test is performed The x-ray helps evaluate bone injuries, ...
Symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome may include:
Pain, numbness, and tingling in the pinky and ring fingers, and the inner forearm
Pain and tingling in the neck and shoulders (carrying something heavy may make the pain worse)
Signs of poor circulation in the hand or forearm (a bluish color, cold hands, or a swollen arm)
Weakness of the muscles in the hand
Signs and tests
When you lift something, the arm may look pale due to pressure on the blood vessels.
The diagnosis is typically made after the doctor takes a careful history and performs a physical examination. Sometimes the following tests are done to confirm the diagnosis:
Nerve conduction velocity
Tests are also done to make sure that there are no other problems, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or a damaged nerve due to problems in the cervical (neck) spi...
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