Johns Hopkins researchers have found that patients with a painful and debilitating nerve compression disorder called thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS), which studies suggest may occur in up to 8 percent of the population, reported a significant reduction in short-term pain after receiving a single, low-dose injection of Botox in a muscle located in the neck.
Though the study, published in the April issue of the journal Pain Medicine, was small, researchers say it suggests Botox is a safe, noninvasive alternative to the syndrome’s treatment of last resort: surgery to remove the first rib and sever one of the muscles in the neck.
“There haven’t been many alternatives to the use of surgery to treat this syndrome,” says Paul J. Christo, M.D., M.B.A., an assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the study’s lead author. “Botox seems to be an effective treatment that avoids surgery’s obvious drawbacks, such as its invasive nature and long recovery time.”
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