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.

Reply Flag this Discussion

17 Replies:

Thanks! A moderator will review your post and it will be live within the next 24 hours.