Thoracic outlet syndrome anyone?

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    • #241265

      I had a huge blood clot in my subclavian vein at the end of March requiring TPA and 3 months of Lovinox. Just had surgery to remove my first rib on May 8th. Anyone else out there go thru this and what did you do for rehab? How long were you off your bike?

      My surgeon has released me with no restrictions and to increase activity as tolerated. From what I have read this seems like quackery. I even questioned lifting my dh bike on a lift and hitting dh, and he said “if you’re up to it.”

      Now idk about you, but I’m a mtb’er and pain is pain. Ride and suffer later. Just wanted to see if anyone else has gone thru this… I’m 4 weeks post op and going dh’ing is out of the question since ruts and rocks on regular trail makes me feel like I’m being eviscerated.

    • #241266

      Wish you a fast recovery. I am dealing with bruised ribs and sore back right now so I can imagine how you feel. Every root and rock you can just feel with your body and it’s painful. What was the reason you had to remove your rib? Never heard of such a syndrome before but if you just had a surgery I would recommend road riding or gravel grinding until you fully recover. Road riding is much safer when it comes to crushing and you won’t have to deal with bumps and roots. All the best!

    • #241270

      Thanks. Been there done that with the ribs a couple times now myself. The scalene muscle in the shoulder atrophy due to the other muscles being bulky or it can be from repetitive motion. The collar bone then rubs on the first rib and presses on the either the artery, vein or nerve. Mine was the vein causing a clot 20cm long. Freaky stuff. I don’t have a road bike but I am borrowing one to keep my wheels spinning.

    • #241271

      Wishing you a full recovery and sorry to hear of your medical issue. Since I’ve never experienced anything similar there is no recovery advice I can give, but it is good the hear you are riding. Do easy rides and keep at it.

    • #241279

      Ouch!  Very sorry to hear.  Hopefully the surgery will reduce the risk of future blood clots as that’s the most concerning issue (not that dealing with the pain and post-surgery issues is to be taken lightly).  If what your doctor says is true, i.e. no restrictions other than what you can tolerate, then you’ve got a number of options to stay active and maintain your fitness.

      With respect to biking, you can road cycle, use a trainer, or even MTB if you choose less technical flowy trails.  Off the bike, you can hike or strength train.  When I broke my collarbone, I focused my energy on lower body strength training and running (I would keep the arm of my injured shoulder against my chest – not exactly safe when running trails but whatever).  I was MTB’ing within a couple of weeks but kept an easier pace.  The most important thing is to keep yourself motivated and active.  Wish you a speedy recovery!

    • #241288

      Former hospitalist, now retired.

      I would recommend bodyweight and dumbbell exercises that address single limb in order to strengthen any weaknesses . The goal is to stabilize and equalize strength on both sides of the body. If I was you I would graduate myself from beginner trails to enduro to downhill over the course of a month or so. Jumping right into downhill is possible but it doesn’t feel right because of  the surgery and downhill is downhill. One jammed wheel and your not strong enough to keep it straight…

      Its not just the 1st rib or the shoulder that I am concerned about. It is the rotator cuff. With the bw and dumbbell exercises I would particularly focus on the back dividing them simply into upper and lower back exercises. I think by graduating yourself with the riding and strengthening the affected muscles and tendons as well as supports, you will be ahead.


      Diet wise please make sure you are taking a Multivitamin and for now you should up the protein. Your primary physician can give you more insight. The evisceration feeling is your body telling you you’re doing it too fast.

    • #241470

      Wow, you’re the only other person I’ve met (online counts, right?) with TOS. However, mine didn’t require surgery. Just physical therapy. My right hand went weak. Couldn’t tie my shoes or button a shirt. So I had a pinched nerve in there. PT seemed to relieve that problem, but it took a good year to get things more or less normal again.

      Best of luck with your recovery. Sorry I can’t offer a more parallel experience.

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