Has anyone had localised costochondritis?

Went to see the rheumatologist for the results of a nuclear bone scan, and was told that it was 'essentially normal'. I asked why essentially? They said there was an area of active inflammation cells in a couple of rib joints in the exact place where I have been experiencing a high level of constant, bruising type pain. The rheumy said they were going to ignore it anyway. I asked her why they were ignoring it when the whole purpose of the scan was to show up if there were any active inflammation cells in my joints, and she said it was because the only thing it could be in the ribs would be costochondritis but that if it was that, it would be in all the ribs. I came away a bit baffled and when I told my GP later that day he said it was a load of rubbish and you could get it in just one rib joint, or it could just be starting and could spread further. But he didn't go on to say he'd do anything about it!!

I was just wondering if anyone here has had anything line this?

Thanks x

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  • Not sure if this is much help to you but I've been having aches and pains in my right ribcage for over a year and a half now. It was more painful to start with but has now become more of a dull ache and discomfort - I don't think it's sharp enough to be costochondritis. I had x-rays done and was then prescribed amitriptyline for 'nerve pain'. I don't think anyone seems to know what it is but I have read quite a few posts and threads on a similar theme so I'm beginning to wonder if this is yet another typical lupus symptom.

  • Thanks for your reply. Yes sometimes it's achey rather than sharp pain, and wearing a bra is just too uncomfortable and squeezing on the tender areas. But other times it is very sharp, like a raw and bruised pain, like the ribs have taken a beating, and I have to apply voltarol gel and a heat pad to get a touch of relief. The worse pain is around where the scan showed up inflammation, and I've been prescribed a different anti-inflammatory. I'm having various steroid injections as time ticks on, but with negative lupus antibodies, they won't give me oral steroids. They clearly accept there is inflammation though, or presumable they would keep suggesting more injection in various parts of my body. I've even had Botox in my shoulder lol! I'm on amitryptiline too, but have yet to be diagnosed despite all of the symptoms :( x

  • That sounds very familiar about the bra being uncomfortable - it's like not being able to stand any pressure on the area. I've also had problems with my shoulder on that side and had a steroid injection into it which did nothing. It was so much more painful when it all started back in January 2013 and I was taking codeine and ibuprofen for the pain back then. As I say it is nowhere as bad as it was back then but is just 'there' and doesn't go away which is very frustrating. I've also previously been hospitalised for pericarditis which is yet another thing lupies are prone to and that caused much more severe rib pain whch steadily got worse. How long has this been going on for in your case? I just find it very interesting that so many of us seem to have these issues with rib connective tissue pain but the medical community don't seem to recognise it or know what to do about it!

  • I'd say it's been around for about a 18 months but worse in the last 6 months especially in the area where this cell activity has shown up. I have autoimmune thyroid disease so it follows that I could have another autoimmune problem too. But they plan to ignore this yet right now the pain is as bad as the back, shoulders and hips that that they keep injecting or operating!

    I'm glad to hear yours has improved from the really bad pain, although any pain is unacceptable :( I hope you continue to improve and get answers eventually too. Best wishes xx

  • I had chest / rib pain back in October last year, during a flare that went un-diagnosed for 10 months. My husband and I thought I had lupus and were waiting for my blood test results, which then confirmed it. It varied from sharp, nasty pain to a dull ache. I found it uncomfortable in bed etc. I have been on 400mg hydroxy since November and the chest pain was one of the first symptoms to clear up. I think it was costocondtitis but never formally diagnosed as such. Good luck!

  • Hi there!

    Just to say that anyone can get costochondritis even if they don't have an autoimmune problem. Lots of people get it and mistake it for cardiac pain. It should hopefully clear up eventually. Fingers crossed for you. x

  • I have. It is one of those off and on conditions. The first time I got it was in my sternum and my GP told me it was to do with lupus. Now, every now and then I get it in my ribs on my left side as well. I told my new rheumy registrar about it and she just shook her head as if she didn't know what I was talking about (such a worry). I just live with it. It comes and goes. Moves around a bit from ribs to sternum but always goes away.

    I do have the type of lupus where I have wandering everything. Pops up in odd places.

  • Yep. I have three small areas on my ribs that do exactly that and I'm told it's nothing to worry about, just costochondritis. Strange that your rheumy told you it was a global thing though because as we know all joints don't hurt equally and you can have an inflamed wrist joint but your elbow will be fine as will you other wrist, y'know? I would listen to your GP because if the diagnosis is costochondritis it's nothing to worry about.

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