Casting once again: Patient recovers from thoracic outlet syndrome and rediscovers thrill of being on the water

When Justin Pomeroy, 23, struggled after a weight training session, he wasn’t positive if he was merely fatigued or experiencing a medical disaster. While lifting weights, one of his shoulders popped, adopted by radiating ache.

Despite being match for his energetic job as a Florida-based U.S. Coast Guard crewman, he continued to really feel debilitating weak spot, even when making the slightest of actions.

His situation worsened over the subsequent few days to the level that he went to the emergency division, the place he realized he had quite a few blood clots. Justin later got here to be taught that his wrestle after weight training was an early warning signal of thoracic outlet syndrome, also called TOS.

Seeking solutions

Justin noticed a doctor who ran checks that indicated a blood clotting dysfunction. It was shortly recognized that he had a predisposition to clotting because of a genetic blood mutation.

“At the time, I wasn’t aware of how serious the situation was,” Justin says. “Honestly, the whole time while in the hospital, I was more concerned about what work I was missing.”

The discovery of blood clots, which have been handled with anticoagulant medicine, was simply the starting of Justin’s ordeal. The Coast Guardsman who had been in glorious health would spend the subsequent 18 months making an attempt to find why he had grown so weak that he couldn’t carry out his job with out stopping to relaxation.

“My arm had swollen to such a size that it had become unmanageable,” Justin says. “I was in aviation, and it created a situation where I was grounded and not flying anymore.”

More testing and bloodwork revealed that, along with the clotting dysfunction, Justin had TOS, a uncommon dysfunction that includes compression of the nerves, arteries or veins in the decrease neck and higher chest.

“I was medically retired from the Coast Guard,” Justin says. “It was devastating because that was my career path, and it was something I really wanted to do.”

A ‘nagging feeling’

Although upset to depart a job he liked, Justin didn’t cease in search of solutions.

“I’m the type of person who likes to leave no stone left unturned, and I had this nagging feeling that more could be done to improve my situation,” he says.

His seek for solutions led him to Mayo Clinic in Florida, eager to see a group aware of TOS diagnoses. Diagnosing thoracic outlet syndrome is advanced as a result of signs differ drastically and typically might be indicators of different health issues — making it a troublesome situation to pin down. Because there are a number of varieties of TOS, forming the appropriate prognosis is vital to profitable remedy.

Justin received in to see Justin Yarbrough, nurse practitioner, and Dr. Sam Farres, chief of the Vascular Surgery Division. Justin says as he advised them his story, the care group listened carefully, asking questions and sharing data. “There was just a wealth of knowledge,” says Justin. “I thought, they’re going to help me find some answers.”

The Mayo group ran checks and imaging research that different services did not do, Justin says, revealing he really had two varieties of thoracic outlet syndrome — neurogenic and vascular. After making an attempt conservative remedy approaches with combined success, Justin and his care group made the determination collectively to schedule him for a rib resection surgical procedure in September 2023.

“They didn’t want to rush in and push me to have surgery,” he says. “They really wanted to make sure we were doing the right thing for my specific situation.”

He was amazed to seek out that shortly after surgical procedure, he could possibly be energetic once more. But it wasn’t simply the consequence of his surgical procedure that impressed him. Justin was overwhelmed by the care group’s proficiency and stage of attention all through his journey.

“It was mind-blowing to show up to a medical appointment and they are already in the room waiting for you,” he says. “They tried to get a very nuanced understanding of my condition, and if I asked a question, it was answered.”

Today, Justin says he is pain-free and has larger mobility, permitting him to get again to actions he loves, like fishing on the open water.

“That’s great news for me,” he says, “but not-so-great news for the fish.”

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