Costochondritis occurs when an inflammation occurs at the junctions where the upper ribs join the cartilage that fixes them to the breastbone. In certain cases, the inflammation involves multiple cartilage areas on both sides of the sternum (chest bone). Though a relatively harmless condition, Costochondritis can lead to chest pain. This irrguarity is commonly found in children and teenagers. Of all the chest pains reported in children, thirty per cent are due to costochondritis. The peak age in which this irregualrity get mostly reported is 12-14 years. More than males, females get affected by this condition. Costochondritis can also be caused as an after effect of some surgery done on sternum. Hereditary reasons can also lead to costochondritis.
In some cases, Tietze syndrome gets wrongly referred to as costochondritis. Tietze syndrome happens suddenly and is charecterised by continuous pain radiating to shoulders from the chest. It can last for several weeks as well.
Frequent trauma to the chest wall or viral respiratory infections are the common causes of chest pain that occur due to costochondritis. Occasionally, it can also result from bacterial infections. Reduced blood flow after surgery can also make the cartilage infected.
Costochondritis pain will generally be a sharp one and will be located on the front portion of the chest wall. It is likely to be radiated towards the back or abdomen. Fourth, fifth, and sixth ribs are the most frequently affected parts. The reproducible tenderness that is experienced as you press the rib joints is the most important feature of costochondritis. There will be no noticeable external swelling in this case. Pus or abscess formation is also likely to be absent. Other major symptoms of costochondritis are pain when taking deep breaths, difficulty in breathing and extreme pain while coughing. In certain cases, redness is also found in the affected part.