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by , November 6th, 2016 at 12:35 PM (4311 Views)
I took a couple days off after the Sprint Classic. Since then, I've been on the treadmill for 3-5 miles a day. I swam at Sewy on Friday night and did around 2500. My arm and shoulder area swelled up afterward, as it seems to with any exercise at all.

I was worried it might be Lymphedema. So I went to the expert in the area. She doesn't think it is lymphedema, which is good. I saw her on Wed and Fri. On Friday, they were thinking that it might a version of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. I have been negative for the neurological physical tests. But she thinks it might be soft tissue related, which would be fixable. I am worried that it is venous TOS and that the scans to date didn't pick it up. My sister had venous TOS, a very rare condition. I've told that to three drs and no one has ordered an MRI (which was how my sister was diagnosed). I am going to start calling cardio-thoracic drs tomorrow to try to get an appointment.

In any event, if it is TOS, it's a very bad thing for my swimming. I am on the DL right now and will likely have to cancel my December focus meet. I haven't swum much for 19 days, so am very out of shape at this point anyway. Kicking in a streamline position isn't any better than swimming; everything is still overhead and compressed. I am going to go swim to Bethel Park for a bit today just to keep a little feel for the water. But I am just not jazzed up about kicking with my arms at my side. I have injury fatigue at this point after a year full of different kinds of injuries. I'm doing a lot of stretching in case it is soft tissue related. But I am so hyper mobile that it's difficult to stretch the areas I'm supposed to stretch.

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Updated November 6th, 2016 at 01:41 PM by The Fortress

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  1. swimdoc's Avatar

    I had TOS surgery (mine was neuropathic and vascular) a few years back, and reading your blog, I was concerned that you might have TOS. It's a tough thing to diagnose, and in my case, we weren't sure until they actually operated. Hopefully it's not that, but it's not the end of the swimming world if it is. My surgery was curative, and within a year I was swimming master's best times.

    Happy to give you any advice. If I were to have the surgery again or even get the definitive evaluation, I'd go to Dr. Robert Thompson at Barnes ( He does several cases a week, whereas most good TOS surgeons do several cases a year. It's tricky surgery, and it's tricky to diagnose, so you want someone with a ton of experience doing it. My surgeon was excellent, but that still didn't prevent phrenic nerve and recurrent laryngeal nerve damage that left me with a paralyzed hemidiaphragm and paralyzed vocal cord for 6 months before they mostly recovered (hence my conversion to literal drop-dead sprinter).

    Bruce Kone, MD
  2. The Fortress's Avatar
    Thanks so much Bruce, especially for the dr recommendation. I would definitely travel to get an experienced surgeon if it comes to that. I had thought of going to Mayo as my father was a dr there and my brother lives there. The diagnostic quagmire is definitely frustrating. What surgery did you have if I may ask? I worry a bit bc my sister had two TOS surgeries. They helped but were not completely curative in that she can still get swelling if she overdoes any overhead activity. Did you stop swimming at the onset of the symptoms? The only symptom that I don't have is distended veins, but they could be obscured by all the muscle.
    Updated November 7th, 2016 at 11:07 AM by The Fortress
  3. Sojerz's Avatar
    Sorry to hear this. Good luck Leslie with the further diagnosis. Hoping for the best.