Costochondritis (kos-toe-KHON-dri-tis) is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone (sternum) — a junction known as the costosternal joint. Pain caused by costochondritis may mimic that of a heart attack or other heart conditions.
Your doctor might refer to costochondritis by other names, including chest wall pain, costosternal syndrome and costosternal chondrodynia. When the pain of costochondritis is accompanied by swelling, it's referred to as Tietze syndrome.
Most cases of costochondritis have no apparent cause. In these cases, treatment focuses on easing your pain while you wait for costochondritis to improve on its own.
May. 05, 2012
- Wise CM. Major causes of musculoskeletal chest pain. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 5, 2012.
- Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1678/0.html. Accessed March 5, 2012.
- Proulx AM, et al. Costochondritis: Diagnosis and treatment. American Family Physician. 2009;80:617.
- Stochkendahl MJ, et al. Chest pain in focal musculoskeletal disorders. Medical Clinics of North America. 2010;94:259.
- Wise CM. Clinical evaluation of musculoskeletal chest pain. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 6, 2012.
- Phillips K, et al. Treatment of musculoskeletal chest pain. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 6, 2012.