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Avatar universal

left side of chest/ribs swelling (hard bumps) and painfull**no formal diagnosis

(30 year old Female) I Noticed one paticular day last August as I was walking, that my chest area was hurting.  I placed my hand on the area and there was a noticible protrusion of what felt like my rib (hard not moving, close to sternum).  I asked my OB at my yearly and she suggested possible chostocondrtis, and told me to take some Ibprof 600mg.  That did nothing.  Then the beg. of Jan, I noticed I had another area that was protruding (lower than first).  This was most noticible at night when laying down and very tender with constant dull pain.  Went to my PCP and he said it probably was chostocondritis as well, though he thought it was strange that this was going on since Aug (5 mo), and there were multiple areas affected (3rd, 4th rib).  I got an x-ray.  Results=no abnormalities.  Went back to doc, asked for CT scan, results= tilting of sternum, not assoc with other osseous abnormalities of the sternum or adjacent soft tissue abnormalities, air in left sacroiliac joint, small amount od tissue density adjacent to ascending aortic arch in the anterior mediastinum (could represent residual thymus), mild prominence of spleen.  The pain is getting more noticible and I have another protrusion (below my left clavicle).  I have not gone back to PCP for fear of looking like a lunatic.

ANY IDEAS as to what this is?  Are there any other tests we should focus on to determine a correct diagnosis?  Is this a wierd form of chostocondritis that doesnt go away?  What does tilting of sternum mean in terms of my situation?  Thanks for the help, much appreciated!
40 Responses
Avatar universal
I don't think anyone would call you a lunatic, and I think you should definitely go back to the doctor. A general practitioner should at least be able to refer you to a good specialist who would probably have experience with your condition. It is my understanding that calcium deposits can develop on any bones, and they generally do not just go away. Not trying to diagnose, just a thought. Good Luck with everything.
Avatar universal
I am a 23-year-old female with nearly the exact same problem!  I have been frustrated by dismissal as costochondritis (sp?) as well.  Even steroids had no effect on it and there are more locations now than their used to be.  My breast on the left side is nearly a full size larger than the right, which I think has something to do with it.  My spleen is often enlarged as well, though sometimes worse than others.  I was just wondering if you had found-out anything.  Because of my age, it is often dismissed, but has gotten worse.  Please let me know if you've found out anything relevant.  Thank you!
Avatar universal
I am a 19 year old female- dealing with a similar condition for the past 9 years. I was frustrating as a child, because I was unable to understand the doctors diagnosis, and my mother would not allow me to take any medication for the pain. As soon as I turned 18, I began to see doctors on my own. I have done it all- blood tests, MRIs, Ultrasounds, Breathing Tests – you name it. Every doctor I have seen to this day has either stated that this problem simply does not exist (psychosomatic – in the head) or a possible condition that I am just going to have to live with. Believe me it is frustrating, but I am not about to give up. The pain has set in to all of my joints, and it seems like every problem that would be miniscule for most, is a major issue for me. If anybody has a lead- please please help!
Avatar universal
My daughter has very similar symptoms. She is 11. We did all the tests and finally went to a sports medicine doctor who prescribed physical therapy to strengthen the rib area. This helped my daughter a lot and the pain subsided. Once we stopped PT the pain returned. We will continue with PT as this is working!
Avatar universal
My son had chest pain and went to a hospital out of town.  They checked him for heart trouble and it came back good.  They did a CT of the chest and told him he had a 2.9 cm. mediastinal mass.  An Oncoligist talked with him and told him he needed a biopsy of the mass.  He wanted to come back to his home town and see a Thoracic Suregon.  The suregon had a radioligist in our home town to read the original films and they did not agree.  They said they believe it is Residual Thymus.  I am very confused and need some advise as what to do.  Does the residual thymus need to be taken out and should I request the doctors still do a biopsy just to be on the safe side.
Avatar universal
That's wild, I have the exact same story.   I'm a healthy 30 yr old, I have two children and I'm pretty active.  I had one bump like you described on my left rib near the sternum.  I had a chest x-ray which revieled nothing.  I then noticed it was getting larger and I was getting a similar bump on the next rib down.  I had a CT scan, the doctor said I had a minimal residual thymus, but didn't seem to think that was a problem.  They seem to think it's up to me if I want to pursue this any further.  I live in a fairly small town, so I don't have 100% faith in the doctors.  Any ideas from a big city diagnosis?  I feel like it's spreading and I'm starting to notice the ache worse.

I also have been bruising more than before and I feel exhausted all the time (but that might be due to my two small children!)
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