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Dr. David
Dr. David, Board Certified MD
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Experience:  Board Certified Physician
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GP diagnosed costochondritis over 25 years ago and I still

Customer Question

GP diagnosed costochondritis over 25 years ago and I still suffer. Been treated for ulcerated oesophagus and Hiatus Hernia Also had private physio etc Why cant it be treated IF it is Costochondritis
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. David replied 3 years ago.

Dr. David :

This is Dr. David

Dr. David :

costochondritis would not be lasting for 25 years.

Dr. David :

costochondritis is an inflammation of the ribs or cartilage, usually from a viral infection causing a short term pain of the ribs or cartilage.

Dr. David :

usually non steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen can help costochondritis pain

Dr. David :

sometimes ulcerations in the esophagus can cause rib pain as well.

Dr. David :

also pinched nerves and arthritis in the spine can cause rib pain

Dr. David :

these have to be evaluated

Dr. David :

you might need an MRI scan of your thoracic spine.

Dr. David :

is the ulcer in your esophagus healed up or do you still have it?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
Hi. If it is costocondritis, and you haven't been tried on gabapentin, that could well resolve your pain. Otherwise, cortisone injections into the inflammed cartilage would be the next step, and I'd also have you apply capsaicin cream topically to the painful area
Expert:  Dr. David replied 3 years ago.
This is Dr. David again. you would not have costochondritis for 25 years. that is not a possible diagnosis. you could possibly have intracostal neuropathy for 25 yearsyou could have a pinched nerve from your thoracic spine causing referred pain in your ribs. you could have an esophageal ulcer or esophagitis that is causing referred pain to a rib. these are all possibilities. but you would need more testing to find out what is causing your pain including an MRI scan of the thoracic spine to look for pinched nerves in the area exiting the spinal cord called the neuroforamen. steroid injections are not given directly into cartilage. cartilage is almost as hard as bone. you can give steroids or lidocaine injections at the source of nerves to do a nerve block to help nerve related neuropathy pain. this can be done if swelling or compression of a nerve is seen on MRI scan. you need to ask your doctor for an MRI scan of your thoracic spine.

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