View Full Version : How can Phil Hughes have Thoracic outlet syndrome?

04-28-2011, 07:46
How can Phil Hughes have Thoracic outlet syndrome?

Thoracic outlet syndrome is a rare condition that involves pain in the neck and shoulder, numbness and tingling of the fingers, and a weak grip. The thoracic outlet is the area between the rib cage and collar bone.

Blood vessels and nerves coming from the spine or major blood vessels of the body pass through a narrow space near the shoulder and collarbone on their way to the arms. As they pass by or through the collarbone (clavicle) and upper ribs, they may not have enough space. I had a similar problem, but mine was caused by too much muscle buildup. As I stated in previous articles, I have had 5 operations on my shoulder, all caused from pitching. As the Doctor explained to me, whenever you have an injury, your body builds more muscle to support the area, This muscle buildup, along with my other injuries to the shoulder caused my blood vessels, and nerves to be squeezed.

After pitching a game, with the normal inflammation that occurs, because pitching in not a natural motion, for at least the next 24 hours I did not have proper blood flow to my arm, similar to what takes place if you have Thoracic outlet syndrome. My hands were most effected, My fingers were numb, they tingled similar to what you feel if you hyperventilate, or wake up with "My arms asleep" type feeling, only not as bad. After pitching a game, a few hours later i would not have enough strength in my grip, to hold onto a glass of water.

Now, I have a few major problems with what the Yankees, and Phil Hughes have been saying and I hope the Yankee reporters once again ask just one tough question, and I will list a few just to get them started

Thoracic outlet syndrome presents with pain, numbness, and tingling in the pinky and ring fingers, and the inner forearm, Why hasn't the Yankees or Phil Hughes ever mentioned any of these symptoms? This lose of power has been a problem since spring training, and in the past three months we have not heard one mention, of any of these symptoms?

Again The Yankees, nor Phil Hughes ever mention pain and/or tingling in the neck and shoulder, which is another symptom of Thoracic outlet syndrome.

After his three starts in the regular season was there any signs of poor circulation in the hand or forearm (a bluish color, cold hands, or a swollen arm)?

If there were no signs of poor circulation, how do you get a diagnoses of Thoracic outlet syndrome? Since the problem has been evident since spring training, you can't say the symptoms just developed after his last bullpen session, because if you do then how do account for the lower speed, since February?

Phil Hughes has never once complained about weakness of the muscles in the hand, how could this be? When I was first diagnosed with one of my many shoulder problems, one of my complaints was a weak grip, The doctors sent me to rule out Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which is similar to what you feel if you have Thoracic outlet syndrome.

After all the exams that the Yankees have preformed, how could the possibly miss seeing an extra cervical rib (above the first rib) or an abnormal tight band connecting the spinal vertebra to the rib. ?

This diagnoses does not pass the smell test, hopefully when Mike Francesa has Joe Girardi on his program Thursday afternoon, to due his Yankee Managers weekly interview, Francesa will stop kissing up to his beloved teams manager, and treat Girardi as he does NY Mets manager Terry Collins.

Judging from Mike Francesa's kissing up interviews in the past as an Example, when Phil Hughes was placed on the DL, Francesa did not even ask Girardi why the Yankees had decided not to send Hughes for an MRI? In fact he never even mention the word MRI during his weekly love feast.

I do not expect any real questions to be asked during Girardi's WFAN appearance on Thursday, so hopefully one of the many sports reporters in New york, will actually earn their paycheck just once, and ask some tough questions to Joe Girardi, Brian Cashman, and the Yankees medical staff.

Dominick Mezzapesa
Twitter @dmezz1120
Email: mezz1962@gmail.com