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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: Lump across entire rib with chest arm and neck pain

 cleo99 - Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:23 pm

I am a 20 year old female, and have a history of endometriosis, ibs and collitis. Just over a year ago i woke up in the night with a shooting and crushing pain on the left hand side of my chest. The pain shot down my left arm and up my neck and into my left shoulder blade. I assumed i was having a heart attack the pain was that intense! After 30mins the pain slowly subsided. This continued for a few nights, i visited my GP who refered me to hospital. An ECG came back clear and a chest xray was also clear. At this point i was told it was chest inflammation and to take NSAID's. I had also noticed a lump by this point on my 2nd rib down from my collar bone, on the left hand side next to my sternum- this is where the pains were starting, the lump was about 3cm x 2cm big. The dr advised this was just inflammation. Since then ( over 6 months ago) the lump has spread and it is pretty much the entire front of the rib now that has swollen up. It is really painful when pressed, and very hard. I have learnt to control the pain as best i can by moving my arms about into different positions, but this in itself is annoying! I am also having pain in my left breast and im unsure if it is hormonal or related to the rib pain. The pain now is mostly centralised along the rib and shoots through to my left shoulder blade. The pain doesnt intensify with exercize, its usually worse at night and i am completely unable to lie on my front without being in agony! My boyfriend has noticed (after giving me many back rubs to ease the pain!) that the muscles on my left shoulder blade and under my arm coming towards the left of my chest are all very stiff and hard and can be sort of moved around as if theyre not attached to anything! I am now in pain everyday and have been for a year which is annoying, but i am just worried as to why NSAID'S arent slowing the growth of this lump! It sometimes feels as if my chest is very tight, as if someone has crushed it and then let it go, but this doesnt affect my breathing. If anyone could please help i would be most grateful! Thank you
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:59 pm

User avatar Hello,
It is time to do more imaging of the rib cage and sternum to rule out osteomyelitis or bone tumor.

I would start with a CT scan and perhaps a PET scan.

Let us know how it goes.

Take care.

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