Costochondritis and Tietze's Syndrome

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What is costochondritis?

Costochondritis is a common form of inflammation of the cartilage where ribs attach to the breastbone, the sternum. The inflammation can involve multiple cartilage areas on both sides of the sternum but usually is on one side only.

What causes costochondritis?

The causes of costochondritis are not known and may involve several factors. Possible causes include heredity (genetic predisposition), viruses, and trauma (injury).

Costochondritis can be an independent condition by itself or sometimes can be a feature of a more widespread disorder. Examples of illnesses that can feature costochondritis include fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease (such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/6/2015

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Costochondritis and Tietze's Syndrome - Treatments Question: What was the treatment for your costochondritis and Tietze's syndrome?
Costochondritis and Tietze's Syndrome - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience with your costochondritis and Tietze's syndrome?
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Costochondritis Symptoms

Signs you may have costochondritis

The main symptom of costochondritis is chest wall pain that varies in intensity. The pain may be perceived as

  • pressure,
  • sharp, or
  • aching pain.

Movement, exertion, and breathing deeply tend to aggravate symptoms as the cartilage between the ribs and sternum flex.