The tietze syndrome , named after this disease was discovered by Dr. Alexander Tietze in 1921, is the inflammation of the cartilage responsible for joining the sternum and ribs called costal cartilage.

The costal cartilage is located in the center of the rib cage, therefore the discomfort caused is perceived at the level of the chest. This syndrome is very common to be associated with costochondritis , but in this situation it occurs with the cartilage of the ribs and it could be a chronic disease.

Symptoms of tietze syndrome are

  • Chest pain.
  • sensitivity
  • Pain when coughing
  • Burning sensation when the chest area is touched.
  • The size of the union between the sternum and the ribs grows, and pain when touching it.
  • Swelling that gets worse when you touch.
  • Swelling that is worse when coughing.

What causes tietze syndrome?

The tietze syndrome does not have confirmed causes because the truth does not have a medical consensus dedicated to it, even so there are some possible causes such as:

Radio therapy:

Radio therapy in the chest usually has tietze syndrome as a side effect, this does not mean that it will occur immediately afterwards, it could take years to appear, it could even simply not appear.


In general, stress is the cause of many diseases and this is because even if we do not believe it, stress causes our body to react in some specific way.

The blood flow is not correct, therefore our heart is recent, which causes the alarm system to go off frequently. If we constantly subject our organism to these functions, our body will take its toll immediately or in the long term, depending on the organism, therefore the tietze syndrome is not the only disease produced by stress.

Physical effort:

This disease is usually related to very minor injuries such as those caused by a prolonged cough, fits of laughter, sneezing, blows to the chest. Therefore, there are many minor injuries that could be related to you. The funny thing about tietze syndrome is that they have been diagnosed worldwide in many more young people than in adults.

How is Tietze syndrome diagnosed?

There is no test that is solely for diagnosis, therefore it is necessary to diagnose by ruling out other diseases with which Tietzer syndrome could be confused, because the symptoms can occur in other diseases such as:

Sometimes when the diagnosis is uncertain, a CT scan or bone scan is usually performed to reach a conclusion. It is important to know that Tietze syndrome can take years to evolve into a chronic disease.

Sometimes Tietze syndrome is often confused with a myocardial attack, the reason is that the symptoms are quite similar, however after clinical studies it is completely ruled out that the patient is suffering from a heart attack, even so this syndrome could be so annoying and painful that in a very simple way it can become a disability for the patient.

What is the appropriate treatment for Tietze syndrome?

  • Putting ice packs on the affected area may help you combat the pain and inflammation caused by Tietze syndrome .
  • You can also use patches with analgesic effects to significantly reduce pain.
  • Some people have used cortisone vaccines to treat pain and inflammation with bone diseases.
  • Applying local heat to the area of ​​pain will also help eliminate it.
  • Because movement and physical activity increase pain, rest is recommended.
  • Studies have shown that movha physiotherapy and laser therapy are very useful in reducing the pain caused by this syndrome.
  • In the most difficult cases, anti-inflammatories are injected directly into the affected area and if it finally does not work, it is removed by surgery.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses. He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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