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Ask Dr. Arun Phophalia Your Own Question
Dr. Arun Phophalia
Dr. Arun Phophalia, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 31326
Experience:  MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
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I have two problems Id like to address with one doctor visit.

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I have two problems I'd like to address with one doctor visit. First, my sternum is sore every few hours and I need to stretch and crack it very loudly to relieve the soreness. I have been injured in that area before. Second, I had ankle surgery and a previous doctor suggested I get surgery for the other one too. I would like a second opinion on both ankles. What kind of doctor should I see for this?

The best specialist to consult would be an orthopedic. Orthopedist would be able to diagnose and recommend treatment for both of your medical issue. Your sternum issue can be costochondritis or myofascial trigger point / myofascial pain syndrome. Costochondritis is inflammation at the junctions of rib and cartilage or with the breast bone / sternum. Local analgesic ointment, or spray, chest brace and warm compresses with Ibuprofen are helpful. Myofascial trigger points are hyperirritable tender spots in palpable tense bands of skeletal muscle. This can be associated with degenerative disc disease in neck causing pinched nerves. Trigger points may develop after an initial injury to muscle fibers. This injury may be a noticeable traumatic event or repetitive microtrauma to the muscles. The trigger point causes pain and stress in the muscle or muscle fiber. The treatment is following;


1) passive stretching of the affected muscle after application of sprayed vapocoolant.

2) physical therapy; simple muscle stretch, augmented muscle stretch, post-isometric relaxation.

3) deep electrotherapy; iontophoresis, phonophoresis, short wave diathermy, electrical stimulation, high voltage galvanic stimulation, biofeedback.

4) local analgesic patch / ointment / spray

5) anti-inflammatory analgesics; Ibuprofen (Motrin / Advil)

6) ischemic compression therapy; pressure on the points

7) massage

8) steroid shots

9) acupuncture


An MRI if not yet done, should be ordered for ascertain the diagnosis and management of the ankle issue.


Please feel free for your follow up questions.

I would be happy to assist you further, if you need any more information.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks. Would you recommend getting an MRI on both the chest area and the ankle?

Hello Frank,

The chest area problem is not likely to be serious and usually do not warrant surgical treatment. It in all likelihood would respond to the above measures. Unless, severe and not responding to the above measures, than only it would require an MRI.

It is privilege assisting you.

Dr. Arun
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