Costochondritis and Tietze's Syndrome - Symptoms

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What are symptoms of costochondritis, and what is Tietze's syndrome?

Costochondritis is distinguished from Tietze's syndrome, a condition also involving the same area of the front of the chest, by the presence of swelling. Costochondritis is not associated with swelling, as opposed to Tietze's syndrome, where swelling is characteristic. Tietze's syndrome is an inflammation of the costochondral cartilages of the upper front of the chest that involves swelling of the joint.

While both costochondritis and Tietze's syndrome feature localized pain and tenderness in the front of the chest, Tietze's syndrome also causes swelling over the ribs and cartilage near the breastbone (sternum). Redness, tenderness, and warmth can also be present, but a localized swelling is the distinguishing finding. The pain is variable, often sharp, can be confused with heart pain, and can last from hours to weeks. It can cause difficulty with sleeping and even rolling over in bed is sometimes painful. Blood testing (sedimentation rate or C-reactive protein test) can show signs of inflammation in patients with Tietze's syndrome, whereas patients with costochondritis alone typically have normal tests for inflammation.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Eva, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 23

I have been diagnosed with costochondritis but I believe that it is Tietze's syndrome. I have pain on my left side, in my left breast going towards my back. I also have pain in my shoulders. I have been taking amoxicillin 500 mg but even this does not give me any relief. When I first felt the pain I thought it was my breast but the doctor said that it is in my rib. My left arm gets swollen. I really do not know what to do.

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Comment from: Honey, Female (Patient) Published: October 01

I have been having pain on my left side of my rib cage and breast bone. I have had bouts of costochondritis and Tietze's syndrome over the years. But this time it is lasting about 3 months. I am glad to be able to connect with others that have this problem. The pain is on my side and sometimes under my breast bone. Everybody hang in there you are not alone.

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