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Ken
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I have been having a dull ache/pain in my right armpit and

Customer Question

I have been having a dull ache/pain in my right armpit and ribs for about one month now. Sometimes the pain in also in my right shoulder blade near the middle of my back. The rib pain is also sometimes like a pressure/hot sensation especially when I sit and hunch over a bit like at the computer. The rib pressure in right near the front area sometimes where the ribs “bend”. The pain in the armpit area is sometimes pressure feeling and sometimes like a pinching-hot sensation. My bloodwork cam back normal except for slightly high cholesterol and my chest x-rays were clear. Sometimes I mistake the chest pains for a sensation in the breast itself but my GYN said he doesn’t detect anything out of the ordinary. This is the third time I have had this type of “flare-up” since last August. The first time was around a very stressful time in my life. The second time I believed to have a stomach virus and then it seemed to get better after my stomach cleared up. And this time it also followed a busy time but then I had an ear infection at the same time the pain started up which was the 2nd week of June. My Dr has insisted all along that it is costochondritis but I don’t fully agree. I am curious to know your take on my situation. Thank you.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Ken replied 4 years ago.
Hello,

I can understand your anxiety.

We need to consider few causes. Yes costochondritis tops the list. other causes like irritation of the nerve should also be considered. it can be due to pinching at the spine level or at its course. Pinching at spine level can be due to inter vertebral disc bulge or osteophyte. Other possibility can be inflamed axillary lymph node {not enlarged enough to be felt}. Muscle sprain or some abnormality at the shoulder need also be considered.

I would suggest few investigations like MRI spine/ ultrasound of the axilla/ x ray shoulder to see for any clue to diagnosis.

Wish you well. God bless
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Ken, Thank you for your reply. I actually did have xrays done and there seem to be no pinched nerves. I did have mono when I was 16 & I wonder if this could have any effect on my glands when I get too stressed or tired even though they said my bloodwork was ok? Could this cause the possible enlarged axillary glands? and if they're inflamed would they hurt and then not & then hurt again a few months later? I am supposed to have an abdominal ultrasound to rule out gallbladder issues but I feel the CT scan of the armpit/shoulder is probably more important right?
Expert:  Ken replied 4 years ago.
Hello,

I would suggest a MRI for spine if not done already{it shows nerves better than x ray}. Ultrasound of axilla will help followed by MRI if needed instead of CT scan for axilla. MRI gives more details than a CT scan in case of axilla {which includes nerves/ muscles/ tendons}.

Complications of mono include spleen enlargement/ anemia/ lymph node enlargement, extra. But these after these many years look less likely.

Our body tries to get rid of infection of inflammation with various ways. But if it is not able to overcome than we need antibiotics or other medication to help. So it may be possible that there are intermittent periods of pain at axilla due to inflamed nodes.

What ever the cause we need to evaluate it and treat it.

Wish you well. God speed

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