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538894 tn?1630257531

Costochondritis and potential infection

Hello everyone. I wanted to see if anyone within the community would point me in the right direction. I’ve had Costochronditis for 3 years now that seemed to have developed directly following my gallbladder removal surgery in early 2019. I have been having attacks that last from 5 to 7 days, and they occur  on average every 2 months. I had been to a doctor back in 2020 because they were becoming more severe and a chest XRay showed Atelectasis in my right Lung. Doctor told me to take anti inflammatory meds and to ensure I’m able to get deep breaths. It’s now July 2021 and I continue to get the Costco only the last few times it lasted longer before things improved and towards the 7th day I began feeling generally ill with joint aches, labored breathing, the feeling of fever (although temp was normal or low grade at most), and still painful breathing.  I almost feel like there is an infection inside of me or something and I’m worried things will just continue to worsen over time. I’ve had consultations with my doctor and although she’s giving me instructions on what to do… I really feel like she has no clue what’s happening either. I’m just scared and tired. Hoping someone has a thought of what I might do to lessen the severity and/or frequency of these attacks.
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20620809 tn?1504362969
This sounds very frustrating. Your doctor doesn't seem to be helping you truly resolve the issue. Can you try a different doctor?  A second opinion may be of great help! This article talks about costochronditis.  Anti inflammatories are one of the main things used.  https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/costochondritis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20371180  Sometimes they prescribe tricyclic agents like amitriptiline especially if yo are uncomfortable at night. Also gabapentin is prescribed sometimes.  Physical therapy is also another avenue to explore.  They teach gentle stretching exercises that are supposed to help.  
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2 Comments
Thank you so much for the response. I have been struggling with all of this and just trying to get some answers. I will definitely look for a second opinion.
I would guess you need more intense help.  Physical therapy?  Would that be something available to you?  Look through that article.  
Avatar universal
The chest wall has 24 joints on each side, where the 12 ribs meet the cartilages and the cartilages meet the sternum (breast bone). See if you can locate point tenderness over one of these specific joints. All can be injured and become inflamed by repeated trauma (coughing, lifting, squeezing etc.). You might try a Velcro rib binder for a few weeks to quite down the inflammation (like for broken ribs).
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