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Hard, bony lump on rib?

I recently went to the doctor because of some pain I was having on the right half of my rib cage and my back. I was diagnosed with costochondritis (inflammation of the cartilage in the rib cage, caused by sever coughing, getting hit, even laughing) and I was put on a steroid to reduce the swelling. One evening I was massaging my aching side when I came across a lump on one of my ribs...I had never noticed it before. It's hard and smooth, and it feels like it's part of the rib, but it kind of sticks out, and it's not on my other side. It's not visible, I have to feel for it, but it is definitely noticeable. I went back to the doc to get it checked out, and she felt of it and said that "it feels like part of your rib". I had also had some x-rays done earlier that week for the costochondritis, and she looked at those and said that they were fine...and that if it were cancer it would most likely show up as bone deterioration.

But despite this, it still has me very worried, because in all my internet searches, I can't find a cause for it other than some kind of horrible cancer...I don't have any of the telltale symptoms for cancer (night sweats, rapid weight loss, loss of apatite, bruising, anemia, fatigue, high fever, nausea, vomiting, etc) but the lump is to large to ignore. It's probably about the size of a quarter, maybe a half dollar. The lump seems to be confined to just one rib. Oh, and it's not really painful to the touch, but it's hard to tell, because I've been poking at it so much.

Does anybody know what it could be? Do ribs sometimes just grow like that? I'm a 17 year old male, by the way, and something of a hypochondriac.

Thanks in advance,
~Connor
18 Responses
684030 tn?1415615923
What you described almost sounds exactly what my mom recently had. Last year, about 1/2 way through her chemotherapy, she felt a hard solid lump on her rib, just below her right breast. It didn't seem to hurt her unless she pressed or tried to squeeze it. But, it was quite visible and she was clearly concerned by the timing of it's appearance (during chemotherapy) and growth (it grew to about the size of a quarter in circumference). Her oncologist examined this "nodule" (that's what he called it). And, noted that it didn't show up on her CT scan or PET scan. So, he was didn't know if it was related to her Cancer or the chemotherapy. He suggested that she have her surgeon biopsy it. Well, before it could be biopsied it began to shrink and it is now gone. Other than it it being called a "nodule," we never got an answer as to the nature of its appearance or an explanation for its peculiar disappearance. Hopefully, yours will disappear too. Good luck!
Avatar universal
I'm a 17 year old hypochondriac too. I have a small lump on my rib cage && i'm quite scared. I haven't gone to the doc but..should i be worried?
Avatar universal
What happened with your lump? My husband has the same thing and I'm trying to figure it out. (Won't have insurance until January). Hope that you found out what it was/is.
Avatar universal
I have a lump on the left hand side of my rib, i didnt notice it until i seen a bruise that randomly appeared without even banging myself. I have been doctors and had to have a blood test done, just awaiting results.Im worried to.
Avatar universal
What did you ever find out?  I have the same thing develop after a soccer injury.  Hope you get this and can respond.
Avatar universal
About a year and a half ago I found a hard bump on the left hand side of my bottom rib. It feels like a hard knob. It is on the bottom and you can almost grab it. At first, you had to search for it, and couldn't  see it with the naked eye. The other day though as I was getting dressed I realized that the bump is now very visible and has definitely grown. When I first noticed the bump, I went to the doctor. She said that I shouldn't be worried about it unless it grew or starting causing me pain. Well it has grown. The weird thing is that it didn't show up on the x-ray that the technician took (there were two angles that she took). I then got an ultra sound and they honestly didn't care. They told me to not worry about it and that it's probably just a weird cartilage bump.

To sum up:
1. growing bump on rib
2. feels like bone
3. didn't show up on x-ray
4. visible increase in growth in a little more than a year.

I am a young adult if that matters. Thank you so much! Any input at all is greatly appreciated.
2 Comments
I got the same exact thing! Except it didn't show up on my ultra sound or my x ray. The Ultra sound tech could feel it but couldn't see it. And I kept getting pain. For four years so far I have been told that its chest pain and to not worry and that it'll go away. But I know what chest pains feel like and this is not chest pain. Is there like a specialist I should see? I'm 17 years old and am worried that it could be something serious. But i'm not quite sure what I should do or think for that matter. I need answers and haven't been able to get any.
I got the same exact thing! Except it didn't show up on my ultra sound or my x ray. The Ultra sound tech could feel it but couldn't see it. And I kept getting pain. For four years so far I have been told that its chest pain and to not worry and that it'll go away. But I know what chest pains feel like and this is not chest pain. Is there like a specialist I should see? I'm 17 years old and am worried that it could be something serious. But i'm not quite sure what I should do or think for that matter. I need answers and haven't been able to get any.
Avatar universal
I have the same thing a large hard lump on my right lower rib cage in the back. It has been there for some time and I noticed it larger than it used to be. I don't have any other symptoms so im not sure if I should worry.  
1 Comments
I have a lump that appears right below my ribs on my back left side. When i first noticed it, it didn't feel tender. But 2 hours later, I felt it again and it's beginning to feel very tender. It's not really mobile either. /: I'm very scared. Could anyone help with any information please? :( I thank you so much
Avatar universal
Hi, I was wondering if you ever found out what your lump was?  My 3 year old son has a hard lump on his lower left rib cage and I am starting to get worried.  It doesn't seem to cause him any pain.  We had an X-ray done and came back negative.  We are scheduled for a ultrasound next week..I feel that it is a really long time to wait.  I'm hoping you received some resolution and everything is well.  Can you let me know?
Avatar universal
I'm experiencing exactly what you explained leanne1234! did you find out what it could possibly have been?
1 Comments
Same here. Had an ultrasound and it's behaving like a cyst. They're not worried.
Avatar universal
It is costochondritis it is very painful I went to hospital earlier today and I was told that what it is I didn't believe it was that he never did X-ray or anything but then I googled what it looked like and it is what I got. Very painful but putting a warm cloth on it really help the pain. See doctor for anti inflammation medicine
1 Comments
So my wife just went through an identicle experiance.  It turned out after many tests and a ct scan that during two breach pregnancies she acquired a bulging disc in her back that was pucking on her floating rib forcing it to bulge out.  It was very scary also, espeacially reading this forum but the end result is physiotherapy.  They had performed xrays on her ribs and ultra sounds, but never xray'ed her spine.  Worth bringing up to your doctors if it saves extensive testing as a simple spine xray would have caught it early.  Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
i am getting sort of scared now that i am reading about this. I also noticed a difference in my rib but in three months it has really started to poke out.  I went to the doctor and at least she took it seriously.  I was sent for an MRI.  That was yesterday.  Now I am reading about it because before I didn't really register the thought that maybe it was an issue.  So now I have to wait for the results.  
Avatar universal
have you maybe fell and caused it that way. I did that yrs ago and still got the lump .
Avatar universal

crying because I have the same thing and I'm scared I don't wanna die
1 Comments
Im an eighteen year old girl and am experiencing the exact same thing. I have a bone dosorder where I have random growths in different places. It could be this dont panic about it its harmless. I think its called osteochondroma, there are several types but none of them cause serious harm.
19949834 tn?1516419106
I just had a "rib series" because I felt a firm nodule on my left, front rib cage.  It was ordered STAT. Now I wait.  I am scared.  I have a lipoma above it but it isn't hard.  I had a firm lipoma that popped around when I touched it removed in 1995.  I am waiting on a call and so scared.   I've had cancer before.  Rare skin cancer.  But metastasis is very rare. Like only 5 % after it returned to the original site.  I'm still very scared.  
Avatar universal
Kkparr33 what did the doctor say? What were the results?
2 Comments
735lie - I got a Primary Care Dr and she did NOTHING!  I will follow up with her but I won't even touch it now.  It was scare me.  Both the Primary and my Osteo doctor thought it was probably a lipoma lodged in a floating rib.  I hope they are correct!  Sorry, just seeing this.  
It will scare me not it was scare me.  It's now been a year since I first felt it.  I need to get on it.  The doctor needs to get on it. She said she was going to look at previous MRIs and CT scans to see if it was ever seen previously. For some reason, she didn't think it was in an area where it could be seen on an MRI or CT scan and I have read others say the same.  Regardless, a final determination is in order.  I will no longer be going to the primary care doctor I went to see about this.  She didn't do a THING!  However, even though it has been almost a year since I saw her, she WILL hear from me and it won't be just "goodbye".  She better hope it's nothing sinister.  I hate doctors.  
Avatar universal
I am going through sort of the same thing. Almost 2 months ago I noticed a lump under my left ribs to far left. Its not on my ribs but below them. Its pretty big and it feels like it moves when I push on it or even if I push the area its in. It took me the same amount of time to get in with the dr because my insurance changed my primary and I had to be seen as a new patient, nothing was available till almost 2 months away which was may 1st. ER dr saud lipoma but she didnt feel the area I told her to feel and when I finally got to see the dr he said he didn't feel anything where the ER dr felt it but he did feel something in the exact spot that I feel it. He sent me for chest x ray, rib x ray and they were normal. He sent me for a ct scan of my upper abdomen without contrast which found a kidney stone and a small hernia near my belly button but nothing else. The hospital did a ct scan of my chest without contrast which was also normal. I had basic labs done and will have those results Tuesday. Im lost and confused. Im worried and very scared. Im 35 years old with 3 kids that need me to be well. I dont understand how we can feel it but scans show nothing. I refuse to have another ct scan unless its absolutely necessary.
1 Comments
I just found your comment in an online search.  I have daily discomfort and I can feel something on the rib above my right breast.  It radiates toward my armpit.  I can especially feel it if I bend forward.  I have had a comprehensive mammogram and ultrasound at a cancer center on my right breast and a bit higher on the area of concern.  Both turned up nothing.  Did you ever figure out your problem and through what type of scan?
19949834 tn?1516419106
I have not had any tests done except an X-ray when I felt a lump on my left rib.  My primary did nothing. Both she and my osteo dr think it’s a lipoma embedded in a floating rib. They better be right. I will follow up again but it’s been over a year since  I found it.
1 Comments
Careful35 - Did you ever get any answers?
Avatar universal
I basically have the exact same thing. A bonny like hard lump straight on my rib cage and its noticeable by touch and by sight. Went to a clinic and was told it would go away in a week or 2 but its been about a month now and its still there. Getting a little worried its rubbing with the inside of my skin and irritating it. Also worried cause i have no clue what the heck this thing is.
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