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Can X-ray definitely rule out Pleurisy?
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Can X-ray definitely rule out Pleurisy?

Three weeks ago, I came down with a bad flu (some fever, deep chesty cough with lots of clear sputum, extreme weakness) , that lasted about 10 days.

The day before I came down with the flu, I had spent a whole day travelling on a coach and there was a very sick old man on the coach who was wheezing and making strange noises including rattling when breathing. I did use the on-board toilet, which he might have also used....

With self-medication and lots of rest, most of my symptoms disappeared except a cough and sharp stabbing pain in my chest when breathing. I went to the doctor and took a course of antibiotics called Amoxicillin B for 5 days (1000mg 2xdaily).

The cough almost subsided but I continue to have a sharp pain in my chest about 4 inches to the right of my . My symptoms were/are consistent with (dry?)Pleurisy but no fever. I returned to the doctor and had an x-ray done. The test showed 'clear and healthy' lungs and  and the doctor assured me that it is not Pleurisy but probably intercostal muscle straing possibly cause by coughing . So I have now been on a painkiller called Cathaflam (3x50mg daily).

Unfortunately, the pain although somewhat lessened by the painkillers during the day still persists on inspiration. Particularly when I lift my arm  over my head and in other positions when my chest is stretched out. Deep breathing and coughing is painful. I only cough a little when the pain is controlled. Strangely, otherwise I feel well and healthy, have a good appetite and feel lively, but I get out of breath if I exert myself or talk for a long time.  

Can the x-ray definitely rule out Pleurisy?

Would an ultra sound test be necessary?

Could intercostal muscular pain have similar symptoms to Pleurisy?

How long can I expect recovery to take? (I have been suffering from the symptoms for nearly two weeks and most websites say a few days to recover from Pleurisy once the underlying illness has gone)
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144586_tn?1284669764
Pleurisy is a somewhat meaningless term.

I think you are asking the question as to whether or not you can have an area of infection that will not show on an x-ray. The answer to that is absolutely positively. An x-ray cannot possibly tell you you have "clear and healthy lungs". A lot depends on the technique (settings on the machine). Symptoms are far more valuable than an x-ray. And you have symptoms. Sharp pains are generally pleuritic, and due to strained muscles. But not always.You were on the anti-biotics for far too short a period. Just an opinion. But a short course of high-dose antibiotics is currently "the flavor of the month".  You probably had a viral infection. The catch is that a bacterial infection often "piggybacks" as the viral infection subsides.  To suggest a longer period of treatment with many physicians is like criticicizing God, motherhood and apple pie, not necessarily in that order.  Get plenty of sunlight, take a D3 supplement, zinc, 1000 mg of vitamin C, and purchase an expectorant (such as Robitussen). If you cough up yellow mucus you have a lung infection, regardless of what the x-ray says. You need ton take another look at your sputem at this time and you won't be able to do so without an expectorant.   Usually these problems are "self-limiting". But sometimes they are not. Give it another two weeks, unless you have yellow sputem, or ANY difficulty breathing or air hunger.
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