Casting as soon as once more: Affected person recovers from thoracic outlet syndrome and rediscovers thrill of being on the water


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

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

His situation worsened over the subsequent few days to the purpose that he went to the emergency division, the place he realized he had quite a few blood clots. Justin later got here to study that his wrestle after weight coaching was an early warning signal of thoracic outlet syndrome, often known as TOS.

In search of solutions

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

“On the time, I wasn’t conscious of how critical the scenario was,” Justin says. “Truthfully, the entire time whereas within the hospital, I used to be extra involved about what work I used to be lacking.”

The invention of blood clots, which had been handled with anticoagulant medicine, was just the start of Justin’s ordeal. The Coast Guardsman who had been in glorious well being would spend the subsequent 18 months attempting 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 dimension that it had grow to be unmanageable,” Justin says. “I used to be in aviation, and it created a scenario the place I used to be grounded and never flying anymore.”

Extra 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 within the decrease neck and higher chest.

“I used to be medically retired from the Coast Guard,” Justin says. “It was devastating as a result of that was my profession path, and it was one thing I actually needed to do.”

A ‘nagging feeling’

Though disenchanted to go away a job he cherished, Justin didn’t cease searching for solutions.

“I am the kind of one that likes to go away no stone left unturned, and I had this nagging feeling that extra might be finished to enhance my scenario,” he says.

His seek for solutions led him to Mayo Clinic in Florida, eager to see a staff accustomed to TOS diagnoses. Diagnosing thoracic outlet syndrome is advanced as a result of signs range vastly and sometimes may be indicators of different well being issues — making it a tough situation to pin down. As a result of there are a number of kinds of TOS, forming the right analysis is vital to profitable remedy.

Justin obtained in to see Justin Yarbrough, nurse practitioner, and Dr. Sam Farres, chief of the Vascular Surgical procedure Division. Justin says as he informed them his story, the care staff listened carefully, asking questions and sharing data. “There was only a wealth of data,” says Justin. “I assumed, they are going to assist me discover some solutions.”

The Mayo staff ran exams and imaging research that different amenities did not do, Justin says, revealing he truly had two kinds of thoracic outlet syndrome — neurogenic and vascular. After attempting conservative remedy approaches with combined success, Justin and his care staff made the choice collectively to schedule him for a rib resection surgical procedure in September 2023.

“They did not wish to rush in and push me to have surgical procedure,” he says. “They actually needed to ensure we had been doing the best factor for my particular scenario.”

He was amazed to seek out that shortly after surgical procedure, he might be lively once more. However it wasn’t simply the result of his surgical procedure that impressed him. Justin was overwhelmed by the care staff’s proficiency and stage of consideration all through his journey.

“It was mind-blowing to indicate as much as a medical appointment and they’re already within the room ready for you,” he says. “They tried to get a really nuanced understanding of my situation, and if I requested a query, it was answered.”

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

“That is nice information for me,” he says, “however not-so-great information for the fish.”

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