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Costosternal Syndrome

Costosternal Syndrome Causes

Costosternal syndrome oftentimes has no apparent cause. However, some cases may be due to a blow to the chest, infection, or pain signaled from other areas of the body.

Costosternal Syndrome Definition

Costosternal syndrome is also referred to as costosternal chondrodynia, costochondritis, or chest wall pain. The condition is the inflammation of a cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone.

Costosternal Syndrome Diagnosis

The doctor conducts a physical examination by feeling the breastbone for areas of tenderness or swelling. The patient is also asked to describe the pain and its influence. Sometimes chest X-rays or other imaging tests may be recommended to rule out other conditions.

Costosternal Syndrome Symptoms and Signs

Affected individuals feel a sharp or sometimes dull and gnawing pain and tenderness in their costosternal joints. Pain associated with the condition is usually on the left side of the breastbone. Symptoms of the condition may also include pain when taking deep breaths or when coughing, and difficulty in breathing.

Costosternal Syndrome Treatment

Costosternal syndrome usually subsides on its own. However, to ease the pain, doctors may prescribe medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, or muscle relaxants. Patients should also rest, exercise, or applying a heating pad to the affected area several times a day.

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