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Costochondritis (cont.)

What Are Costochondritis Symptoms and Signs?

  • The reproducible tenderness when pressing on the rib joints (costochondral junctions) is a characteristic feature of costochondritis. Without tenderness, a diagnosis of costochondritis is unlikely.
  • Chest pain associated with costochondritis can be preceded or aggravated by exercises, minor trauma, or an upper respiratory infection.
  • The pain usually will be sharp and located on the front chest wall. It may radiate to the back or abdomen to cause back pain or belly pain.
  • The most common sites of pain are the fourth, fifth, and sixth ribs. This pain increases when moving the trunk or taking deep breaths and, therefore, may cause breathing problems. Conversely, it decreases as any movement stops or with quiet breathing.
    • Costochondritis can be misdiagnosed or accompanied by anxiety about having chest pain.
    • When costochondritis occurs as a result of infection after an operation (surgery), there can be inflammation with redness, swelling, or pus discharge at the site of the procedure.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/20/2016

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Costochondritis »

In contrast to myocardial ischemia or infarction, costochondritis is a benign cause of chest pain and is an important consideration in the differential diagnosis.

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