View Full Version : costochonditis?

08-07-2005, 07:56 AM
Ive heard this mention several times on boards lately. I would really like to know if this is associated in any way with autoimmune disease. I have recently be dx with unspecified connective tissue disease until it figures out its own name...so the doc says. Was also dx with costochonditis last december before my current symptoms started in april of this year. Mine is on the left side, directly under the lower ribs.

Any input would be appreciated.

08-07-2005, 10:10 AM
Hi Coco74728:
Lupus, or Systemic Lupus Erythmetosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease which causes inflammation in various parts of the body, including the heart and the lungs. Major organ involvement, including kidneys, gastrointestinal system, lungs, heart, brain and even the CNS (central nervous system) can be effected, hence the term "systemic." Pleurisy, costochondritis (chest wall inflammation and pain), migraines, degenerative joint disease and "brain fog" are common. Lupus arthritis, Raynauds, Sjogrens Syndromes, Multiple Sclerosis and Rheumatoid arthritis and Fibromyalgia (FMS) are just some of the disorders and/or syndromes that often accompany the lupus diagnosis.
Costochondritis is an inflammation of the junctions where the upper ribs join with the cartilage that holds them to the breastbone or sternum. The condition causes localized chest pain that you can reproduce by pushing on the cartilage in the front of your ribcage. Costochondritis is a relatively harmless condition and usually goes away without treatment. The cause is usually unknown.
Costochondritis is usually considered as a possible diagnosis for adults who have chest pain and no serious cause can be found. Chest pain in adults is considered a potentially serious sign of a heart problem by most doctors until proven otherwise by a battery of tests to rule out heart disease. If those tests are normal, and your physical exam is consistent with costochondritis, your doctor will diagnose costochondritis as the cause of your chest pain. It is important, however, for adults with chest pain to be examined and tested before being diagnosed with costochondritis. Often it is difficult to distinguish the two, without further testing. The condition affects females more than males (70% versus 30%).
Costochondritis is an inflammatory process but usually has no definite cause. Repeated minor trauma to the chest wall or viral respiratory infections can commonly cause chest pain due to costochondritis. Occasionally, costochondritis as a result of bacterial infections can occur in people who use IV drugs or who have had surgery to their upper chest. After surgery the cartilage can become more prone to infection, because of reduced blood flow in the region that has been operated on.

Noninfectious costochondritis will go away on its own, with or without anti-inflammatory treatment. Most people will recover fully.
Treatment involves conservative local care with careful use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) as needed. Local heat or ice may be helpful to relieve the symptoms. Avoid unnecessary exercise or activities that make the symptoms worse. Avoid contact sports until there is improvement in symptoms and then return to normal activities only as tolerated.
Costochondritis responds to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). You may be given a local anesthetic and steroid injection in the area that is tender, if normal activities become very painful and the pain does not respond to medications.
Infectious costochondritis is treated initially with IV antibiotics. Afterward, antibiotics by mouth or by IV should are generally continued for another 2-3 weeks.

I hope that this information has been helpful to you. I wish you the best of luck
Peace and Blessings

08-07-2005, 01:36 PM
thank you Saysusie

I thought I was over it, but the symptoms are coming back, altho mild.
I will be sure to tell my rheumy next Thursday at my appt.