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BID Injury Report

On Tyler Thornburg and a Difficult Condition to Diagnose




There was a lot of buzz about Red Sox relief pitcher Tyler Thornburg heading into the 2017 season. But after a mid-March diagnosis of a right shoulder impingement and little progress since then, that buzz turned to uncertainty. Then, on June 15, the Red Sox announced that Thornburg would undergo surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) in his right shoulder, and uncertainty became clarity once again. Unless, like your friendly Red Sox Injury Insider writer, you'd never heard of TOS before.

"Although baseball fans are familiar with Tommy John surgery, few are likely to know about the similar challenges of TOS and its role in baseball and other sports," says Kathryn S. Grannatt, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon in the Division of Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Thoracic outlet syndrome describes a group of disorders that can happen when blood vessels or nerves between your collarbone and first rib are compressed. "It is certainly a rare condition, but can be quite debilitating," says Grannatt…

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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox and Red Sox Nation. Physicians at BIDMC do not treat Red Sox players and have no specific knowledge of player conditions.