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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: Costochondritis?

 Gill - Fri Dec 03, 2004 12:55 am

Hi, I thought I had posted a message up but can't find it. Hope I haven't posted twice :)

About 3 to 4 years I cracked or broke a rib due to coughing - caught a severe flu bug. I had xrays which showed it up. Can't remember now if it was broken or cracked. However, that cleared up. A few months ago I had a child jump on me on my chest and had severe pain and soreness in that same right rib area... which did clear up.
However a few nights ago on having a cuddle with my hubby (don't laugh please), I felt something in my left rib cage go ping and it hurt intensely for a moment. Since then it has got worse and worse - muscle spasms in my back etc. It feels a bit better today but is this Costochondritis please? I'm a gardener and have been fairly active but I'm getting too scared to move of late. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
 Theresa Jones, RN - Fri Dec 03, 2004 6:06 am

User avatar Hi Gill,
Costochondritis is a benign condition, cause is unknown, 2/3 of patients are females. It sometimes occurs after vigorous coughing or muscular strain but a direct blow is not usually a preceeding event. Treatment for this condition is by using anti-inflammatory drugs and by applying heat. I would suggest that you make an appointment with your family doctor to rule out another cause for your symptoms. A chest xray at the very least is in order. Hope this helps at least a little :)
 Dr. A. Saif - Sat Dec 04, 2004 4:52 pm

User avatar Hi Gill,

Have to agree with Rntdj 100%. Costochondritis is a largely benign condition. It may not necessarily follow trauma, although it can do. Often actually the cause is unknown, possibly viral. The treatment is rest and antinflammatories, altough other interferential treatment may be tried. While the condition is self limiting, it may last several weeks, and it is said it usually gets worse for a couple days before it gets better.

The fact that it seemed to come with minimal trauma (and I am presuming your hubby wasn't giving you a traumatic hug :-) ) , is I guess why rntjd quite correctly recommends a visit to a doctor... normally a chest X-ray would not be done in the UK, at least not unless it has been going for a while... costochondritis usually involves an area that is invisible to X-rays. But it is true that if one is not sure of the diagnosis of chest pain, then X-rays can help exclude some pathologies.



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