Diagnosis of paget-schroetter syndrome/primary effort thrombosis in a recreational weight lifter

Lucia C. DeLisa*, Craig P. Hensley, Steven Jackson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose. Paget-Schroetter syndrome (PSS) is a rare condition of vein thrombosis that can be manifested in athletes and laborers who overuse their upper extremities. If diagnosed early, PSS can be managed and the symptoms can be fully reversed. Venous duplex ultrasound (US), the modality most commonly used to diagnose deep vein thrombosis (DVT), has high sensitivity and specificity for detecting DVT. This case report describes the differential diagnosis and management of PSS in a weight lifter. Case Description. The patient was a 44-year-old man who had left upper extremity (UE) swelling and discoloration after performing an incline chest press 2 months earlier. He was referred to a physical therapist for the treatment of venous thoracic outlet syndrome because US imaging results were negative for DVT. The patient’s signs and symptoms did not improve after 4 physical therapist treatment sessions. Outcomes. Repeat US revealed multiple thrombi in the patient’s UE. He underwent immediate thrombolysis and subsequent first rib removal and scalenectomy. Five months after the surgical intervention, the patient had returned to work as a truck driver without limitation of UE use, although he had not yet returned to weight lifting. Discussion. Despite the facts that the patient was seen by several health care providers and that multiple US images were obtained, the patient’s UE DVT was not detected. It is important for a clinician to consider venous pathology in the shoulder even if the results of diagnostic US imaging performed in the presence of UE swelling and pain have been negative. Timely diagnosis and management of PSS are necessary for optimal recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-19
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Diagnosis of paget-schroetter syndrome/primary effort thrombosis in a recreational weight lifter'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this