Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Costochondritis- &Tietze's Syndrome

Costo and Tietze are different, but are often confused for each other...here's a great article you will find useful:

(PS- if you googled "costochondritis and sleeping" and came to this blog post- CLICK HERE for sleeping tips)

The difference between Costochondritis and Tietze's Syndrome

According to the article. here are the differences:
  • Tietze’s syndrome causes inflammation, tenderness, and swelling. According to the Mayo clinic, swelling is absent with costochondritis.
  • Tietze’s syndrome affects men and women equally, but usually occurs in the 20-40 year-old age range bracket. Costochondritis tends to affect women over the age of 40.
  • According to Harrison’s Rheumatology, costochondritis affects the third, fourth, and fifth joints down in between the breast bone and ribs (you can feel these joints with your fingers).
  • Tietze’s syndrome tends to affect only one joint, although the pain may radiate out, making it near-impossible for a sufferer to tell which rib is causing the pain.
  • Costochondritis is usually short-lived, whereas Tietze’s syndrome can last for years, turning into a chronic condition. (I personally disagree with this, I know many folks who have had Costochondritis for YEARS...sorry, not very encouraging! But I think most of us with Costo never fully rest to really allow the injury to heal. Just my opinion. =)


  1. hi i dont even know if i have costo - but i have had very bad pain in lower left rib area for years on and off now - but last year after one exercise session at the gym the next morning i bent down and when got up couldnt breath properly it was awful ! like i was having a heart attack ! it got better eventually but if i do excessive movements etc it comes back - this last pain has lasted for a year now and aggravates me as i like to be out and about and not worry about it coming back again like it did! :(
    went to docs, he sent me for x-ray so now waiting for results - on the x-ray showed lots of shadowing under the heart....great////another thing to worry about ? !...does costochrondritis show up in x-rays or any other form of muscle tissue thats been torn ??? xx

  2. Hi Angie,

    I'm so sorry to hear of your pain. I know how scary and frustrating it can be.

    My Costochondritis did not show up on an x-ray. I have heard that some people have cloudiness in their ribs (who have costo) show up on the x-rays. I don't think that's common, but definately not impossible.

    I would go to pain management doctor or general practitioner (call around and find one who is familiar with costochodritis).

    Sounds like this docotr may not be familiar with Costo? Which is totally normal, but it may be really helpful for you to call around and find someone who can help diagnose you quickly. Otherwise, you end up going down a million roads and spend lots of money coupled with stress.

    Hope this answer helps in some way. I'd get heart problems ruled out and major diseases with a rhaumy (lots of blood work)...and also start making a lot of phone calls to doctors in your area- ask to speak to the nurses and ask them if their doctor can diagnose Costochondrits. You want a doctor who can diagnose you properly and quickly.

    Hugs and all the best to you! Let me know how you are doing!

  3. Wow...lot of spelling issues! LOL. I need to type slower!

  4. PS...Angie...also read this blog top to bottom to see if you fit the mold of costo.