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Costochondritis

Definition

Costochondritis is an inflammation of a rib or the cartilage connecting a rib. It is a common cause of chest pain .

Alternative Names

Chest wall pain

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Symptoms

Signs and tests

Your health care provider can diagnose costochondritis by pressing on the area where the ribs meet the chest bone (sternum). If this area is tender and sore, costochondritis is the most likely cause of your chest pain. However, your doctor should make this diagnosis only after speaking with you and examining you.

Treatment

Pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetiminophen, are used to treat costochondritis.

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

Costochondritis pain usually goes away in a few days or weeks.

Complications

Calling your health care provider

Prevention

References

Sabatine MS, Cannon CP. Approach to the patient with chest pain. In: Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, eds. . 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 53.

Imamura M, Cassius DA. Costosternal syndromes. In: Frontera WR, Silver JK, Rizzo Jr TD, eds. . 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008: chap 98.

Proulx AM, Zryd TW. Costochondritis: Diagnosis and Treatment. . 2009;80(6):617-620.

Encyclopedia content is provided as information only and not intended to replace the advice and instruction from your personal physician.