Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Costochondritis- Misdiagnosis

Costochondritis is often misdiagnosed and mistaken for another condition. Bummer times ten. It's often diagnosed by an important process of elimination with a doctor who will stay the course with you. Finding that doctor can sometime be harder than diagnosing this insane condition. Here are a list of misdiagnoses as written by Richard M. Kravitz. It's a great place to start if you are looking to rule out problems to confirm that you have costochondritis. I'm not seeking to scare anyone in any way. This list is for those seeking a diagnoses. I was misdiagnosed with 6 of these from the list. Gag. You can literally print this out, march into your doctors office with confidence, and let him know you need these conditions ruled out. By the way, little tip, don't look happy in ANY way when you are seeking a doctor. I made the mistake of smiling, dressing up, and laughing with docs...and they were all like..."you are fine, it's in your head." Then one day, my mom was like, "they don't take you seriously because you look like you feel great." Light bulb! So from then on, the more miserable, somber, and determined I looked, the more serious they took me. So dumb, yet so true. Don't wear your makeup, don't wear your cute clothes. BUT, this one is important, take a friend or spouse and have them dress to impress in a suit or dress. This way, you look serious, sick, and have a viable/credible witness. It makes them take you seriously. There you have it. The twisted thoughts in my head. =)

And always remember: The squeaky wheel gets the oil.

Costochondritis - differential diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular:
    • Myocardial infarction
    • Pericarditis
    • Pericardial effusion
    • Myocarditis
    • Endocarditis
    • Cardiomyapathy
    • Premature ventricular contractions
    • Supra ventricular tachycardia
    • Dissecting aneurysm
  • Pulmonary:
    • Asthma
    • Exercise-induced bronchospasm
    • Pneumonia
    • Pleural effusion
    • Pneumothorax
    • Pulmonary embolism
  • GI:
    • Gastroesophageal reflux
    • Esophagitis
    • Gastritis
    • Achalasia
  • Mechanical:
    • Muscle strain
    • Stress fractures
    • Precordial catch syndrome
    • Trauma
  • Rheumatologic:
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Oncologic:
    • Rhabdomyosarcoma
    • Leukemia
    • Ewing sarcome
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Tietze syndrome
    • Psychogenic chest pain
    • Breast tissue pain (both sexes)

6 comments:

  1. I was diagnosed with Pericarditis 10 years ago. Yeah...the ticker was fine though...it was costo.

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  2. I've been getting these pains in my chest roughly at the age of 16. the doctors had no idea. i went to a private doctor and he told me that i have Costochondritis. Also found out that i have ovarian cysts. that really freaked me out. The pains never really went away it just got worse. Medication worked for a while.

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  3. Hi, im 21 female, diagnosed with costo 6 weeks ago im now having to live on morphine and have the dose highered all the time. I'm in agony, I don't think it is costo looks more like tietze syndrome as its in my left arm as well. im scared, annoyed and shouldn't have to face a mis diagnosis. I'm practically bed bound can't do much I do i tell/suggest to my doc I think its something else ??? Plz help

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  4. I've been told I have costo, pericarditis and pleurisy. Now they are telling me it's rheumatoid arthritis. All the tests are normal except for the agony of the chest pain, they can't say what it is.

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  5. I was diagnosed with Costo when I was 20. It was awful. I thought I was having a heart attack. The doctors threw me on morphine, oxycodene, and tramadol. From the age of 23-25 it would come every now and again but wasn't as bad. I thought I would be done with this until a couple of days ago I was driving to work and became nauseous, dizzy, and short of breath with some pretty terrible chest pain. I thought I was having a heart attack. I went to the hospital and they ruled it as costochondritis and told me just to rest and take anti inflammatorys. Well, it's day 3 since the hospital visit and the meds aren't working. I'm trying to find a specialist on this because it is not fun at all. Goodluck to everyone else going through this. I know what it's like :-(

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  6. I was diagnosed with Costo when I was 20. It was awful. I thought I was having a heart attack. The doctors threw me on morphine, oxycodene, and tramadol. From the age of 23-25 it would come every now and again but wasn't as bad. I thought I would be done with this until a couple of days ago I was driving to work and became nauseous, dizzy, and short of breath with some pretty terrible chest pain. I thought I was having a heart attack. I went to the hospital and they ruled it as costochondritis and told me just to rest and take anti inflammatorys. Well, it's day 3 since the hospital visit and the meds aren't working. I'm trying to find a specialist on this because it is not fun at all. Goodluck to everyone else going through this. I know what it's like :-(

    ReplyDelete