Tietze (TEET-zuh) disease is a condition that causes swelling and pain in the joints where the upper
ribs attach to the breastbone (sternum).
More to Know
Ribs are attached to the breastbone by rubbery cartilage at points called costosternal
joints. Pain in one or more of these joints is called costochondritis.
Tietze disease happens when there is swelling along with the pain. Tietze disease
can cause a sharp, stabbing pain in the chest that makes some people think they're
having a heart attack, but Tietze disease is rarely a serious condition.
Often, doctors don't know why people get Tietze disease, but it can sometimes be
caused by an injury to the chest, repeated coughing,
or physical strain due to heavy lifting or strenuous exercise. Treatment for Tietze
disease is usually directed at reducing pain until the condition clears up.
Keep in Mind
Usually, Tietze disease is harmless other than the pain it causes. Tietze disease
may come and go and last for several weeks or months, but most of the time it eventually
goes away on its own and causes no complications.
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