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What is the treatment for costochondritis?

Q: I have been told that I have costochondritis - when I sleep on the right side I have shooting pain which last for hours at an end - in fact any pressure on that side or it may be while turning or any weight on it the pain is extreme - this is below my right ribs - my doctor says that it is an inflammation of the cartilage below the rib cage on the right side. What test do I have to do to confirm the diagnosis or what are the possibilities of it being something else? I have undergone MRIs / ultrasound / barium meal / bone scan / endoscopy - they are clear. The pain happened one year back while doing some exercises - my stool / appetite / urine are all fine - please let me know the reason.

A:You seem to have all investigations possible in search of a diagnosis for your symptom. Costochondritis is a clinical diagnosis and from your description it seems that you could be having costochondritis. Usually this resolves with pain killers. If it is particularly severe one could try a local injection of anaesthetic and steroid injection. This is usually done only if there is no suspicion of infection. Most of the time this stays for some time and settles. At times it may take several months. You do not need to worry as eventually it settles. If your symptoms are worsening or there is any swelling coming up do visit an orthopaedic surgeon.

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