Discussions By Condition: Chest conditions

Chronic Costochondral pain

Posted In: Chest conditions 17 Replies
  • Posted By: Floraal
  • October 31, 2006
  • 00:23 AM

I am looking for anyone ideas on disorders causing chostochondral pain. 7 years ago I began having pain between ribs near my sternum. I was x-rayed and no abnormalities were found. I was put on anti-inflamatories with no imrpovement. I was sent to a orthopedic surgeon who ran CT scans and MRIs where the only abnomality noted was scoliosis. My third and 4th ribs developed hard bumps and the ribs began to grow together slightly. I was sent to a cardiothoracic surgeon who went in to get a biopsy but said it looked so much like bone cancer he ended up removing 3 inches off of both ribs and a small section of my sternum. The lab reported no signs of malignancy. Within months the similary condition started on the opposite side of my chest on the adjacent ribs. I was sent back to the cardiothoracic surgeon who again went in and removed parts of 3 ribs and a small portion of my sternum. Within a few months I had similar pain on ribs directly below where the rist was removed. However, the surgeon told me that he was no longer able to remove any more because it would cause my breast bone to collapse. He didn't offer me any more options. This was 5 years ago. I still have intermittent pain in lower ribs at the costochondral junction and have felt mild changes in the bone structure. I was referred to a couple of other surgeons who told me I was feeling post-surgical pain and suggested anti-inflammatories. I am sure though that this is not post-surgical pain. It is in lower ribs and feels just the same as the previous. It is not a severe pain but an ache, almost burning feeling. I can often feel fibrous tissue collected around the areas of pain. I went to pain management for a short period of time and was treated for as a costochondiritis patient even though it had been shown that was not what I had. The pain management was somewhat helpful but for insurance and financial reasons I was unable to continue. My family doctor says he doesn't know anyone else to sent me to. It has been offered to have the nerves under my ribs "killed" however since it seems to slowly progress to lower ribs I would need most of my chest numbed for this to be effective. I have yet to hear a real diagnosis from anyone. My first surgeon said it may be normal growth, but I don't quite comprehend how normal growth spreads like this, causes pain, and looks similar to cancer. I have tried to do research to find anyone with similar problems to no avail. If anyone has any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated.

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17 Replies:

  • I have been diagonosed with Rheumaoid arthritis and it effects all of my joints including my sternum, pain, searing, tearing, antiinflammatory(diclophenic) helps but not a cure, pain comes back as if I never took a med. At times very difficult to take a deep breathe, living with this pain now six months internist, rhuematoid arthritis md, Homeopath, not much luck yet! Now I understand when they say pain can lead to depression, at times very overwhelming to thinkthat this is it, the wqay it is going to be and I am only 46.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 4, 2007
    • 02:32 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • hello,yes, i know what it is to be depressed and scared. Never took careof myself and really hate doctors. 3 wks ago, I developed a minor pain left side of my chest. occasional, annoying feelling at times when i take a deep breath. It is relieved when I stretch or exercise. A weight trainer that I know told me that it sounded like costochondritis. I don't know what happened to precipitate this but the trainer tells me that even going out in cold weather could do it. After 3 weeks it feels better but every now and then i get this uncomfortable feeling which send me into this deep depression. Hope you are feeling better.
    joobeekay 1 Replies
    • February 15, 2007
    • 05:21 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hello Floraal,Just came across ur plight. I was in ur position 15 yrs ago. Let me tell u there is hope and please don't despair. After trying every drug and drug therapy going this is how I manage. Indocid 75mg. Its been around forever and it can be a bit disruptive on your tummy, but I have found its the only answer. I use Traxam or Fastum gel on my 'knots' as I call them, take lots of hot baths &/or Jacuzzi's and then 1 Indocid after dinner. When things are really tough my specialist injects nerve blockers into the points and may even when things are really really bad prescribe a low dose of valium 2mg to relax the muscles and then the indocid to bring down the inflamation. I really hope this helps you. Don't lose urself. I managed to get pregnant 3 times, I came of the meds obviously, but I had blissful 6 months of pregnancy with no pain whatsoever!Good luck.S
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi Joobeekay,I have costochondritis as well. When it's at its worst, it wakes me up at night when I roll over onto my chest and sometimes it's too painful to wear bras. My doctor told me that upper body workouts (I run, climb, yoga and play tennis) can exacerbate the situation. Usually allowing my body to rest will reduce the "swelling" and another option (according to my doctor) is to have it/them drained. Ouch... Hope you find this information helpful.Victoria
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am looking for anyone ideas on disorders causing chostochondral pain. 7 years ago I began having pain between ribs near my sternum. I was x-rayed and no abnormalities were found. I was put on anti-inflamatories with no imrpovement. I was sent to a orthopedic surgeon who ran CT scans and MRIs where the only abnomality noted was scoliosis. My third and 4th ribs developed hard bumps and the ribs began to grow together slightly. I was sent to a cardiothoracic surgeon who went in to get a biopsy but said it looked so much like bone cancer he ended up removing 3 inches off of both ribs and a small section of my sternum. The lab reported no signs of malignancy. Within months the similary condition started on the opposite side of my chest on the adjacent ribs. I was sent back to the cardiothoracic surgeon who again went in and removed parts of 3 ribs and a small portion of my sternum. Within a few months I had similar pain on ribs directly below where the rist was removed. However, the surgeon told me that he was no longer able to remove any more because it would cause my breast bone to collapse. He didn't offer me any more options. This was 5 years ago. I still have intermittent pain in lower ribs at the costochondral junction and have felt mild changes in the bone structure. I was referred to a couple of other surgeons who told me I was feeling post-surgical pain and suggested anti-inflammatories. I am sure though that this is not post-surgical pain. It is in lower ribs and feels just the same as the previous. It is not a severe pain but an ache, almost burning feeling. I can often feel fibrous tissue collected around the areas of pain. I went to pain management for a short period of time and was treated for as a costochondiritis patient even though it had been shown that was not what I had. The pain management was somewhat helpful but for insurance and financial reasons I was unable to continue. My family doctor says he doesn't know anyone else to sent me to. It has been offered to have the nerves under my ribs "killed" however since it seems to slowly progress to lower ribs I would need most of my chest numbed for this to be effective. I have yet to hear a real diagnosis from anyone. My first surgeon said it may be normal growth, but I don't quite comprehend how normal growth spreads like this, causes pain, and looks similar to cancer. I have tried to do research to find anyone with similar problems to no avail. If anyone has any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated.Have you asked for an evaluation of your spine? Damage to the discs or nerve roots can cause REFERRED pain to regions like the sternum, ribs, and sternum. A C6-7 disc herniation was found to be the cause for my sternal pain.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • go to a massage therapist and have them 'strip' the muscles between your rib bones.' stripping' is taking your finger (u can do this urself but it hurts) and running it along the muscle from top to bottom. it hurts like ***l, it hurts like someone is pressing on a SORE bruise. after about a year u might need to do it again, however it will never hurt like the first time. also u may have trigger points that will need to be adressed. u will also be able to breath better b/c it will release the diaphram. oh yeah, do every one. the therapist will need to dig into your armpit to get to the ribs. i'm a therapist and i had to do that to myself.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • ALL U PEOPLE WITH THESE COMPLAINTS OF RIB PAIN NEED TO EITHER GO TO AN AGRESSIVE MASSAGE THERAPIST TO HAVE INTRACOSTAL MUSCLES RUBBED(STRIPPED) AND CHECKED FOR TRIGGER POINTS. i know of what i speak!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I noticed this about 3 weeks ago when I started dieting. Something that feels like a bump in the lower left ribcage area and a sternum that cracks. I also feel occasional pain in my left chest area. I don't know who to see. This is what I have to look forward to? I thought it was because I haven't been to my chiropractor in several months. Age 47.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • i was told i had costocondritis. had rib exray done. ekg. stree test. lung exray. had shots of cortizone. noyhing relived the pain. the only releif i find is visiting my chiropracter. usually it takes about three ajustments. i get broncitis alot and was told this could cause the costo. so any one that has costo may want to find releif with chiropractic care. be aware that a lot of pushing and pulling and lifting alot of heavy things can also contribute to the pain.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Found a way to cure this. Pretty simple really. Stop touching your sternum. I have been suffering from this for over a month and last week I decided to stop touching. Pain is gone. What I did was take a cycle of Vicodin to alleviate the pain and just focused on other things. I am pain free.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • about two weeks ago i noticed a pain in my chest that was quite tight and hurt when i coughed and breathed in or out and then i developed a cough, that has gradullay got worse. now i have noticed pain in my left and right hand side on my ribs underneth my breasts on my sides just underneth my bra strap and it really hurts when i cough, breath in or out and especially when i touch it or press it. i have also got a bruise on my left hand side. my ribs are extrememly sore underneth my breasts aswell and hurt alot. after reading all ur comments i noticed that alot of you have similar symptoms to me and that you have all been diagonsed with Costochondral pain and i wondered if anybody thought that it sounded like i might be devloping it and should see a doctor as i dont know what else it could be? i have been to the doctor about my cough and general weekness and illness and the tablets and medicines have not made my chest pain any better or cough and have actually made it worse. but i have had this pain in my ribs and chest for a while now. can anybody give me some advice? if you could email me on emmaread22@hotmail.com ,this would be very much apreciated. many thanks emma
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • I have been suffering with costochondritis for 22 years. The pain gets so bad that I have to go to the emergency room in the middle of the night or I will wait till the morning and go to my doctors office and he will give me a steroid shot and a pain shot and within a few hours i will start to feel better. But then within a month or so depending on the weather it will come back. I also have fibromyalgia which i've had for 7 years. I take pain medication twice a day. Now i have to have a hysterectomy next month so now i am getting nervous because with fibro you have a lower tolerence for pain i am starting to have anxiety attacks just thinking about it. I have been to millions of doctors and they have tried everything. One doctor has even told me he has never heard of someone having costchondritis for this long but i guess i am was one of the lucking ones. The only advice I can give you is be patient the pain does pass eventually and just try to live life to the fullest because you never know what tomorrow holds. They say when you have alot of pain in life you get closer to God and that i am he carries me just about everyday. I have a 17 month old baby and a 1o year old so you know my days are pretty busy. For the costochondritis i have a special cream called fibro a cream that a doctor in Louisiana made and it works pretty good when i have alot of pain. It has pain medicine in the cream. When i go to get it filled they have to mix it up but it is worth the wait. If anyone has any questions i will try to help let me know.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 12, 2008
    • 05:25 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hi I have just been reading all the threads about costochondral pain and am hoping someone somwhere can help!!! I started being ill in January I started feeling really unwell and suffering bad heartburn and were sent for various tests such as endoscopies etc but nothing came up. I have never got better and suffer from really bad pain in my chest area and I get really tired, somedays by 6pm I can barely move the pain is so bad and I have no energy at all. I had been seeing a specialist for my stomach but he decided there was nothing else he could do for me and referred me to a pain management specialist who suggest it was costochondral and I went in for some day surgery to have costochondral injections but I am no better at all infact I seem worse!!! This has been going on 9 months now and its really starting to get me down as its affecting my whole life, I have 2 children and because I'm felling unwell all the time its also affecting them, I have also been off work sick for nearly 9 months and really need to get my life back on track but no one seems to be able to help!!! My GP keeps giving me stronger pain killers everytime I go but they really don't work and if I take too many end up feeling like a zombie anyway which is no use when you have kids!! My GP has now told me he thinks I should just accept it and try and get on with things but thats easy for him to say he doens't feel like this all the time!! I'm back to see the pain management specialist next week but don't hold out much hope and they are also refusing to send me for a full scan which I find annoying!!! Anyone out there that may be able to help please let me know!!!
    Louise1968 1 Replies
    • October 2, 2008
    • 00:05 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I noticed this about 3 weeks ago when I started dieting. Something that feels like a bump in the lower left ribcage area and a sternum that cracks. I also feel occasional pain in my left chest area. I don't know who to see. This is what I have to look forward to? I thought it was because I haven't been to my chiropractor in several months. Age 47.I too have had a "bump" on my lower left side. It took me many dr's appts and cancelled surgeries that I just couldn't go through w/ b/c I knew they weren't the right ones... but it turns out I have a rib tumor. They are extremely rare... which is why they are so hard to diagnose. I also, however, was born with many physical deformities... so it is "normal" for me to be "abnormal"... so don't jump the gun and assume you have this. But basically, it is a cartilouge type growth from the end of my lowest floating rib that causes it to grow longer than usual. They say that even if they remove the bone, it will grow forever... like a fingernail. If you have a rib growth a.k.a. rib tumor, the three signs to look for before getting it tested for cancer are: pain, growth continues after puberty and normal body growth has stopped, and growth is longer than 2cm... (which, I can say your growth is longer than two cm if you can feel it on your tummy like mine)... I can almost "pop" mine up underneath the rib on top and it seems to feel better... but doc says DON'T DO THAT. So basically, yeah, a rib tumor... you can see a THORACIC SURGEON... but you will probably need a GENERAL SURGEON'S REFERRAL in order for the thoracic surgeon to take you seriously.Good luck in your quest... I go in for my biopsy on 03/17/09... I will keep you posted.Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.ashleysadobeaccount@yahoo.com
    AshleyNikole 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • I noticed this about 3 weeks ago when I started dieting. Something that feels like a bump in the lower left ribcage area and a sternum that cracks. I also feel occasional pain in my left chest area. I don't know who to see. This is what I have to look forward to? I thought it was because I haven't been to my chiropractor in several months. Age 47.I too have had a "bump" on my lower left side. It took me many dr's appts and cancelled surgeries that I just couldn't go through w/ b/c I knew they weren't the right ones... but it turns out I have a rib tumor. They are extremely rare... which is why they are so hard to diagnose. I also, however, was born with many physical deformities... so it is "normal" for me to be "abnormal"... so don't jump the gun and assume you have this. But basically, it is a cartilouge type growth from the end of my lowest floating rib that causes it to grow longer than usual. They say that even if they remove the bone, it will grow forever... like a fingernail. If you have a rib growth a.k.a. rib tumor, the three signs to look for before getting it tested for cancer are: pain, growth continues after puberty and normal body growth has stopped, and growth is longer than 2cm... (which, I can say your growth is longer than two cm if you can feel it on your tummy like mine)... I can almost "pop" mine up underneath the rib on top and it seems to feel better... but doc says DON'T DO THAT. So basically, yeah, a rib tumor... you can see a THORACIC SURGEON... but you will probably need a GENERAL SURGEON'S REFERRAL in order for the thoracic surgeon to take you seriously.Good luck in your quest... I go in for my biopsy on 03/17/09... I will keep you posted.
    AshleyNikole 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have been diagonosed with Rheumaoid arthritis and it effects all of my joints including my sternum, pain, searing, tearing, antiinflammatory(diclophenic) helps but not a cure, pain comes back as if I never took a med. At times very difficult to take a deep breathe, living with this pain now six months internist, rhuematoid arthritis md, Homeopath, not much luck yet! Now I understand when they say pain can lead to depression, at times very overwhelming to thinkthat this is it, the wqay it is going to be and I am only 46.I feel your pain..literally!! I am going through exactly the same situation. The not being able to take a deep breath is just the worst feeling in the world. Mornings are the worst...be strong!!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have also had extreme pain at the end of ribs 7 thru 9 and pain in my sternum. I also have discomfort from mid to low back and severe abdominal pains.The pain at the ends of my ribs is so extreme to the touch and feels like I am being stabbed. Within past week, I have been to the doctor 3 time, the er 2 days ago(they gave me moriphine and something called delotid?-neither touched the pain), and the hospital again today for testing. CT scan, chest xray, abdominal xray, blood work and abdominal ultrasound. Feel like I am losing my mind! They are suggesting a pet scan, due to the fact that I had cervical cancer in situ 12 years ago. Also had my gall bladder removed in 2007. Any thoughts? Can this rib pain be from costochondritis? Thanks!!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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