How did I get Costochondritis?


How did I get Costochondritis?

Doctors actually do not know the cause of costochondritis, but they believe it is likely connected to an injury or a previous infection of some sort of prolonged cough.

In my case, I have never had an injury to my rib cage like that. Well, not a recent injury and not in that location. When I was 15, I had a serious sternal injury while at wrestling practice. Yes, I was one of those people. Regardless, I had injured my sternum or breastbone, which actually isn’t bone, but cartilage. Cartilage is a flexible connective tissue that keeps joint motion fluid by coating the surfaces of the bones in our joints and by cushioning bones against impact. It is not as rigid as bone but is stiffer and less flexible than muscle tissue. I was on a muscle relaxer and pain medications for a good month and I could not practice for that time frame either. The one thing that I learned from all that is that just about every part of your body is somehow connected to the sternum as an anchor point. You remember the old leg bone is connected to the (Dem Bones or Skeleton Dance), well that song is very true. In this case, everything is connected to the ribs and the ribs are anchored to the sternum.

Wild Cat coaster

The pain was incredible, even walking hurt. Fast forward some 37-plus years later and here I am, recalling that injury, as it is the only real chest injury that I have had that, would affect the right side. In 20xx I injured my left side while at the State Fair of Virginia. I was riding the Wild Cat coaster and on one of the turns, I felt a pop followed by a sharp pain in my upper left chest. When I got off the ride, I told my wife that was fun, up until I think I broke a rib. I went to the medical trailer and they gave me Tylenol, but the rest of my day sucked because I was in pain. The next day I went to the ER and they did x-rays and determined that it is likely a pulled muscle and gave me some muscle relaxer and pain meds. I followed up with my regular doctor who thought it was actually a torn tendon, based on the swelling and bruising under my armpit, but the pain was closer to the center of my ribs above my breast. However, this was all on my left side, not the right side, where the costochondritis is at.

As for prior infections, well I have had my share of them, once being on antibiotics for close to two months, due to a skin infection that today would likely be called MRSA. I came back from Ohio on vacation and I had this small sore on my left shin, over the next few days, it grew larger and larger. Base medical ended up opening it up and scrubbing it daily for a week while applying a local antibiotic and I took an oral as well. The pill was the one that was for nearly two months. I have also had several other infections in my life that kept me on antibiotics for a month or more. Therefore, there is that, if that is the cause.

Cough is a good one, I have had a cough, what doctors would call a smoker’s cough since about 1992 period. They tried everything and it never went away. It has finally subsided with one of the current medications that I take for an issue unrelated to the cough, go figure. I have also had a long period of upper respiratory infections where I was prescribed cough medication with hydrocodone (TUSSIONEX) to help calm the cough and the hydrocodone is used to relax the lungs which would be sore from prolonged coughing. I went three years in a row having these back to back to back in January, February and March. It really sucked and I think it was all related to the mold in my office. Since they remediated the mold issues, I have not had a single upper respiratory infection. Therefore, there is that as well that could be my cause.

Nevertheless, since the professionals do not have a good clue, about what might have caused the disorder, I can only speculate.

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