Costochondritis is a localized pain in the anterior (front) chest wall.
Occurring in patients of any age, costochondritis means pain at the junction of the bony and cartilaginous parts of a rib—usually the second, third, fourth, or fifth rib—that is highly localized. Sometimes, but not always, there is accompanying swelling and inflammation, a condition preferably referred to as Tietze’s syndrome. Neither costochondritis nor Tietze’s syndrome is a serious disease, but their symptoms mimic those of several dangerous conditions.
If you experience any of these symptoms, do not assume it is due to costochondritis. These symptoms may be caused by other, serious health conditions such as
, digestive problems, and
. If you experience any one of them, see your physician.
Sharp, localized anterior chest pain, possibly radiating to the arm or shoulder and possibly aggravated by sneezing, coughing, deep breathing, or twisting motions of the chest
Tenderness or swelling over a costochondral joint (located on each rib, 1-2 inches on either side of the breast bone)
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. If the diagnosis is in doubt, tests to examine the ribs more closely and to rule out other conditions may include the following:
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a