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Costochondritis - can it be localised?

Went to see Rheumy today for results of a bone scan which showed active inflammation in the joints between rib and sternum on the right hand side. I've had awful rib pain for about a year now, the feel bruised to the touch, constantly ache, and get worse if I take deep breaths. I haven't been diagnosed with lupus or connective tissue disease although I have fibromyalgia and Hypermobility syndrome, so this active inflammation is relatively new. However the rheumatologist said it can't be costochondritis because the inflammation is only in a few ribs, but from what I've read it doesn't necessarily cause inflammation as it can be a symptom of Fibro which is mainly pain without inflammation anyway.

If it isn't costochondritis, has anyone here heard of an inflammatory condition that affects the rib cage? I thought with lupus the rib pain was usually costochondritis too?? Thanks x

2 Replies

Try looking at teitze's ...there is lots of information out there about the difference between the two is usually a benign swelling of the ligaments and cartilages as they join the sternum....I have had this painful lump on one rib / as it attaches my breast bone since I was 14 and I am now 52. It was discovered on x ray way back then and subsequently when I went for my first breast screening at 48 as it had become very painful and then again at 50. It would become very painful prior to my period when I was younger and over the years has grown very slowly and is still painful when all my other symptoms are in a flare.

I have learned to live with this but think it is another symptom of my connective tissue disease but only found out recently it had a name!

I go for my 3 year breast screening in about 10 days so will run the gauntlet of explaining it all again.

Hope you find some answers.



Hi, I have suffered severe rib pain for few yrs now. It was diagnosed as chostocondritis. I also suffer rheumatoid arthritis and a Rheumy explained that the connective tissue between ribs was inflamed, hence the terrible pain. It took a good six months to settle and I have had two mini flares since then.

Apparently it's quite common to have this alongside RA. Hope this helps, lynda x


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