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Warning signs of TOS, a health condition that can affect athletes of all ages

Find out how Thoracic Outlet Syndrome or TOS can affect student athletes



HOUSTON – This condition happens when blood vessels or nerves between the collarbone and first rib are compressed.

Maddie Culotta, a high school swimmer, has always been active in sports.

She knew something was wrong when she started feeling pain in her shoulder while working out that got increasingly worse.

A picture showed her arm was swollen and red after practice for a couple of days in a row.

She knew the swelling and discoloration was a sign that something wasn’t right.

An ultrasound found a 6″ DVT in her chest, or blood clot, which later sent her to the ER and eventually into the care of Dr. Stuart Harlin, a vascular surgeon with UT Physicians.

He confirmed a diagnosis of TOS.

Athletes, of any age, should see a doctor if they experience any numbness, tingling in the arms or extreme fatigue.

TOS is commonly misdiagnosed and typically affects athletes because of repetitive motions used in sports.

Culotta received treatment at UT Physicians and a surgery helped her recover.

Her goal is to train this summer and get back into the pool for her senior year.

For more information, contact UT Physicians online or by calling 888-488-3627.