Disease: Costochondritis and Tietze's Syndrome

    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).

    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.

    How are costochondritis and Tietze's syndrome diagnosed?

    Costochondritis and Tietze's syndrome are diagnosed based on the typical history of pain localized to the cartilage adjacent to the breastbone as well as the examination findings of tenderness. Swelling is also noted in patients with Tietze's syndrome.

    What is the treatment for costochondritis and Tietze's syndrome?

    Costochondritis can be aggravated by any activity that involves stressing the structures of the front of the chest cage. It is generally best to minimize these activities until the inflammation of the rib and cartilage areas has subsided.

    Rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, and cortisone injections have been used as therapy for the inflamed, painful cartilage of both costochondritis and Tietze's syndrome. Ice packs applied to local swelling can sometimes help to reduce pain and inflammation. Local lidocaine analgesic patch (Lidoderm) application can reduce pain.

    Learn more about: Lidoderm

    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.

    How are costochondritis and Tietze's syndrome diagnosed?

    Costochondritis and Tietze's syndrome are diagnosed based on the typical history of pain localized to the cartilage adjacent to the breastbone as well as the examination findings of tenderness. Swelling is also noted in patients with Tietze's syndrome.

    What is the treatment for costochondritis and Tietze's syndrome?

    Costochondritis can be aggravated by any activity that involves stressing the structures of the front of the chest cage. It is generally best to minimize these activities until the inflammation of the rib and cartilage areas has subsided.

    Rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, and cortisone injections have been used as therapy for the inflamed, painful cartilage of both costochondritis and Tietze's syndrome. Ice packs applied to local swelling can sometimes help to reduce pain and inflammation. Local lidocaine analgesic patch (Lidoderm) application can reduce pain.

    Learn more about: Lidoderm

    Source: http://www.rxlist.com

    Costochondritis can be aggravated by any activity that involves stressing the structures of the front of the chest cage. It is generally best to minimize these activities until the inflammation of the rib and cartilage areas has subsided.

    Rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, and cortisone injections have been used as therapy for the inflamed, painful cartilage of both costochondritis and Tietze's syndrome. Ice packs applied to local swelling can sometimes help to reduce pain and inflammation. Local lidocaine analgesic patch (Lidoderm) application can reduce pain.

    Source: http://www.rxlist.com

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