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Old 02-11-2010, 10:13 AM   #1
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What kind of Dr should I go to for 3rd opinion (costochondritis related)?

Some background- in Oct I had a dull pain in my left ribcage and noticed when I laid on my stomach it felt something was there- pressure from the bed. So, I went to my GP and she told me that my left rib cage appeared larger than my right and didn't seem too concerned. So, I left feeling a little better and the pain did go away.

Fast forward to the beginning of January- I was having really bad pain under my left arm and also in the breast and it was radiating to my back at times. I should also mention that I had 2 lipomas removed from my arm in November. So, I went back to the Dr that did the lipoma surgery (he is a breast specialist/surgeon) thinking maybe it was related. I had an ultrasound of the underarm/breast and it came back negative. During this time the rib pain came back too so I spoke to that Dr about that as well and he told me it is costochondritis (but no XRAY was done or anything).

I want to get a 3rd opinion on the costochondritis (rib pain)- do I go to another GP or is there a Dr that specializes in rib pain? Should I go back to my original GP and ask for more tests?

I guess my concern is that it is my spleen or something else. There is swelling on my left rib cage as well as a dull pain. The pain isn't terrible, I am still able to workout (run) and work, etc. It is just always there and is annoying- the swelling is making me nervous thinking it is something else.

Thanks!

 
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:47 AM   #2
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Re: What kind of Dr should I go to for 3rd opinion (costochondritis related)?

Hi Stabevrian, I really don't think it's your spleen or anything like that. I believe you would be having abdominal pain with the spleen and you would not be able to run at all. I don't know of any doctors that specialize in costochondritis except maybe an orthopedic doctor. The thing about costochondritis that I have noticed is it tends to flare sometimes in different ways. I would just go by what you were told originally and treat the symptoms as best you can. Lying on your side is very painful I know because you are squeezing the chest wall somewhat. It can be a scarey feeling and will return a few times once you feel better. I used to get it alot and have not had a problem with it in years. Good luck to you. Hope you feel better soon.
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Old 02-17-2010, 10:11 AM   #3
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Re: What kind of Dr should I go to for 3rd opinion (costochondritis related)?

Hi Stabevrian, Did the doctor tell you to take anything for the inflammation for the chosto? Thats a biggie in bringing down the swelling. Also, not doing anything that will cause it to continue. Chosto is extremely painful and it does take a long time to get over it, and once youve gotten it, there is the chance that one day you'll get it again. So learn as much as you can, what you can do, cannot do, like sleeping on your side does press on it and makes it hurt. I do think Catkaru is right, go see an ortho doc and tell them everything. I think rhuemotologists can help with this problem as well, i dont think its your spleen either hon. With chosto, sometimes you feel like youre having a heart attack, and if its a bad case, even breathing is painful.
Hope you feel better sweetie.
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:02 PM   #4
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Re: What kind of Dr should I go to for 3rd opinion (costochondritis related)?

Thanks ladies! I am going to see a rheumotologist next week. I did end up going back to the GP and they did an XRAY which came back normal. I had some blood work done and it shows I have iron deficiency anemia. I am hoping to have an abdominal U/S to rule out the spleen just for sanity!

I have not taken any anti-infam drugs yet. Maybe next week they will give me some. This costo pain is awful!

 
Old 03-18-2010, 05:24 PM   #5
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Re: What kind of Dr should I go to for 3rd opinion (costochondritis related)?

I'm glad you are going to a Rhuematologist (although they never did anything for me). But it is always good to get a thorough examination and a 2nd, 3rd, and even more opinions if necessary.

Glad you are getting an u/s of your abdomen. It can rule out enlarged spleen. Also, iron deficiency anemia (as well as b12 deficiency) can cause an enlarged spleen.

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/ida/ida_all.html

I too had rib pain and have an mildly enlarged spleen. I am supposed to go for a recheck this week. Let us know how it goes.

Susan

 
Old 03-23-2010, 07:53 PM   #6
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Re: What kind of Dr should I go to for 3rd opinion (costochondritis related)?

I went to the ER last month because my chest was really sore. (and under my arms is also tender)My discomfort had been with me for a few months and getting worse, so my Husband was afraid beens it seem to be affecting my arms too, that I may be having a heart attack. They did an ekg and took an x-ray...they said the ekg was fine but the xray showed that I had costochondritus, which is an inflamation of the cartilage where the ribs attach to the sternum, usually in the upper rib area. My collar bone area is also very tender. They just said to take some over the counter anti-inflamatory meds. When I recently went to a specialist for my fibro, he told me that the costochondritus is also part of having fibro. I have had this since Oct of last year and it just keeps getting worse....I haven't been on the new meds long enough to see if they are going to help either problem. Your syptoms sound like mine but an x-ray would tell for sure. I know that I can tell you I know how you feel....it's very uncomfortable. A woman that I talked to at my work said it took hers 6 months to go away.

 
Old 03-24-2010, 04:44 AM   #7
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Re: What kind of Dr should I go to for 3rd opinion (costochondritis related)?

Stabevrian, I'm having that same pain too. I had abdominal surgery 8 1/2 weeks ago to repair a large incisional hernia that I got from using a crunch machine. All this time, I thought it was surgery pain. I'm also nauseas. It's been going on for 12 weeks now and they are having me see a gastroenterologist on Thursday. When it radiated to the back this weekend I finally realized the same thing happened when I was diagnosed with intercostal neuralgia a few years ago, which sounds like what you describe. Stinks trying to wear a bra, huh? I had to buy a new one 5 sizes bigger than usual and I still can't wear it -- that whole area feels severely bruised. Acute pancreatitis involves a lot of the symptoms, too. Hope you find the right doc. Intercostal neuralgia and chosto are considered harmless, yeah, if you call living in severe pain harmless.

 
Old 03-24-2010, 01:20 PM   #8
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Re: What kind of Dr should I go to for 3rd opinion (costochondritis related)?

I've also got severe costochondritis at the moment - I'm in a flair anyway so this in top is vile!!! I NEED the sun........
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Old 03-24-2010, 05:50 PM   #9
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Re: What kind of Dr should I go to for 3rd opinion (costochondritis related)?

Costochondritis was the end of wearing a bra for me too, 7 years ago. I had no idea what was wrong with me then, but it felt way better not to wear anything that was constrictive - so I stopped. But age and gravity sure sucks ... lol ... so I now wear a snug undershirt when its acting up, otherwise I wear a shelf cami. Both basically serve to squash, but don't dig into the ribs.

 
Old 03-24-2010, 06:54 PM   #10
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Re: What kind of Dr should I go to for 3rd opinion (costochondritis related)?

I've been suffering with costo for about 10 years, it's in flare up more than not. I also think that is about when my fibro started. The Cymbalta has eased it some, but it's almost always nagging at me. Something my PT taught me was to ice my spine right about where a bra would sit until the nerve numbs up and it eases the pain and pressure for a short time.
I haven't been able to wear an underwire bra since then. Barely There bras are the only ones I can wear without a ton of discomfort. If they ever discontinue those I'll be swingin and a swayin'

 
Old 03-24-2010, 10:01 PM   #11
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Re: What kind of Dr should I go to for 3rd opinion (costochondritis related)?

Does anyone else get pins and needles with the costochondritis - it's driving me mad - just going to try icing my spine - 5 am and can't sleep - again!
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Old 03-25-2010, 07:09 AM   #12
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Re: What kind of Dr should I go to for 3rd opinion (costochondritis related)?

I hope the ice worked and you got some rest. It's such a nagging uncomfortable pain and pressure that is hard to get rid of.

My costo is in my right lower rib cage the bottom 3 or 4 ribs. Mostly on the side not the center of my chest. At it's worst it feels like someone jammed their fist up into my ribcage and is pulling out at the same time. The Dr said if I can't live with it he can give me an injection to see it help. The thought of a needle going into the ribs is not pleasant. Having had 2 series of ESI's already I passed on the needle.

I get pins and needles, but always figured it just went with the fibro and my back issues.
The worst are in my arms and legs.

But there is a what I call tingles that radiate outward. It's hard to describe, if you could feel the way it looks when a stone drops into the water and ripples out in waves , that is what my tingles do. They do start in the mid section, but not sure it's from the rib cage.

 
Old 03-25-2010, 11:18 AM   #13
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Re: What kind of Dr should I go to for 3rd opinion (costochondritis related)?

When my costochondritis is bad, my rheummy injects my ribs with marcaine and the pain is gone very quickly (after he got it under control last year; that took a few weeks).

If it acts up between appointments, I find that bringing both elbows back and trying to touch them behind my back (it'll never happen, but to try is the exercise) relieves the pain a lot. Hold this for as long as you can, for up to a minute. (I also tuck my chin in, don't remember why..lol)

Hope this helps someone, it sure does for me.

 
Old 03-25-2010, 02:10 PM   #14
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Re: What kind of Dr should I go to for 3rd opinion (costochondritis related)?

Just been doing your exercise Christine and hoped no-one could see me, coz what you didn't say is that you have to stick your breasts right out to get the elbows back!!! Lol - and as you rightfully say the elbows will never reach but it is a nice stretch - thanks for the suggestion
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Old 03-25-2010, 06:36 PM   #15
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Re: What kind of Dr should I go to for 3rd opinion (costochondritis related)?

LOL, it does have that effect ... you're very welcome sweet!

 
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