Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) Expert Forum
Arm circulation problem????
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Questions in the Peripheral Arterial Disease forum are answered by Dr. Lee Kirksey, associate professor at The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Topics covered include abdominal aortic aneurysm , amputation, arteriovenous fistula, atherectomy, carotid artery surgery , cholesterol , claudication, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) , endovascular aortic stent graft (EVAR), stent placement , stroke prevention, varicose veins , and venous insufficiency .

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Arm circulation problem????

Not sure this is the place to post this question. I am in physical therapy for bilateral shoulder impingment problems which I've had for many years on and off. Today while my therapist was extending my left arm up and stretching it I felt like I was losing circulation in my hand and forearm. The hand was losing color too.  She immediately stopped and does not want me to do any excercises now with my arm raised up!

I am a little worried as to the cause of this. I'm a F, 56, never smoked. How would a doctor determine if this is a narrowing in my subclavian artery? I know this would be extremely rare but I have a weird medical history including a TIA 8 years ago of unknown cause.
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Hello
I think you picked the correct forum. Do you suffer from elevated cholesterol, hypertension or diabetes?

Individuals with musculoskeletal problems like impingement, body builders and others may develop a condition called thoracic outlet syndrome? The blood vessels (artery and vein) and nerves travel through a space called the thoracic outles which is lateral to your collarbone and bordered by your pectoralis (chest muscle) and your 1st rib. If the muscle becomes to large or inflammation develops or because of congenital (birth) problem, this area can become narrowed.

When narrowed, it can compress the artery, vein or nerve and cause symptoms ranging from numbness and tingling when the arm is in certain positions or dicoloration and pain with positional changes. It sounds like you may have the latter

The tests to evaluate this range from emg to evaluate the nerves, ultrasound to evaluate the vessels and arteriography to evaluate the artery.

If pain or swelling develops and persists, seek immediate medical attention. You should check within your local medical community for a physician ie vascular surgeon, thoracic doctor, neurologist who is familiar with the diagnosis and treatment to evaluate you. Good luck. Dont hesitate to follow up with additional questions
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The Cleveland Clinic Foundation
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