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Dr. Abby
Dr. Abby, US Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 10330
Experience:  Family Physician practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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Is there a reason for the xiphoid process to become inflamed

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Is there a reason for the xiphoid process to become inflamed and develop a round cyst about the size of a quarter - worried about probablility of malignancy. Did not discover cyst until recent 40lb weight loss made "bump" evident.


I suspect that your xiphoid process is simply more prominent because of your weight loss. In some people, the xiphoid can actually appear like a mass or lump.

I would have your doctor take a look at it to confirm but it is unlikely that you have developed any type of cyst in the bone of the xiphoid.

Inflammation of the xiphoid, called xiphoidalgia or painful xiphoid syndrome, can occur but is rare. It usually resolves on its own and the underlying cause is unknown. The treatment of this is with anti-inflammatories and steroid injections if the pain persists and is severe. The diagnosis is made if there is tenderness over the xiphoid when palpated.

Feel free to ask any follow up questions.

Dr Abby

Dr. Abby and 2 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Would inflammation also cause pain when coughing (now have a severe chest cold) or when having a full meal? Round area of swelling extends below sternum into abdomen and is clearly defined when palpated through softer tissue - what is size limitation on such a condition before surgery becomes an option?
Inflammation can definitely cause pain with increased abdominal pressure (coughing and straining for example).

As far as the size limitation, usually surgery is not performed for the xiphoid itself. If there is an overlying, mobile cyst there is no limitation for removal.

Do you feel that it is actually attached to the xiphoid or is it moveable?