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My rib just under my left breast hurts whenever i touch it

Customer Question
or raise my left arm...
my rib just under my left breast hurts whenever i touch it or raise my left arm. this has lasted three weeks and is a little worse. No tightness or breathing problems.
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Medical
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
2/5/2012
Doctor: Daniel Sheibley, MD, Doctor replied 5 years ago
Daniel Sheibley, MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 1,834
Experience: MD Grad Jefferson Medical College 2009. Internal Med intern 2010 & Radiology residency 2011. Husband & father of two.
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Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Hello

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Good, just to check quickly, no shortness of breath, diaphoresis (sweating) arm pain or jaw pain, nausea, dizziness?

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Any history of heart problems (just wanted to check on these things before discussing the other possible problems)

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

So this has been 3 weeks and hurts when you physically press on the specific rib?

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

is this a "reproducible" pain?

Customer:

no shortness of breath, sweating, arm pain or jaw pain, nausea or dizziness. just pain at or under the rib cage below my left breast. However, I do have some heart history, have had a cath, and have some blockage of a couple of heart arteries (10 - 20 %) This feels like someone hit me.

Customer:

yes it is reproducible. it also hurts when i raise my arm.

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Any recent trauma?

Customer:

no

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

did you see a physician for this?

Customer:

not yet

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Is this a constant issue for you or does it come and go, or if any time of the day you were to press on it does it hurt?

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

basically constant or comes and goes

Customer:

basically constant

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Given what you've told me regarding how long this has been going on, and that it is a physically reproducible pain that is worsened when you touch a rib and no history of trauma with no shortness of breath or chest tightness, jaw pain or arm pain, this is most likely a musculoskeletal problem, of those it is most likely to be costochondritis.

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

This is an inflammation of one of the ribs/cartilages.

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

This is a self-limiting problem that should go away on its own, for which the recommended treatment is an NSAID of which Aleve (naproxen) aspirin and Ibuprofen (Advil) are members available over the counter.

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

If aspirin has not helped you and you have no contraindications to taking either of the other medications I would recommend trying aleve first as it requires less frequent dosing. Aspirin is not recommended to be taken for a long period of time above the dose of a baby aspirin in those with risk of coronary artery disease as Aspirin can lead to gastrointestinal ulcers.

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

If your symptoms change at all and worsen, you begin sweating, a pain shoots down your arm or into your jaw, you feel chest tightness, palpitations, feel faint, have a change in mental status or experience nausea and vomiting it would be highly recommended to seek emergency medical attention in the event that it were a heart attack. But given the fact that your symptoms as you told me are reproducible by physically pressing on a rib eliciting pain at that rib, that you are having no chest tightness or breathing problems and that your symptoms have been relatively constant throughout the day for the past 3 weeks it makes a heart problem less likely but i can never say that it is not a heart problem.

Customer:

thanks doc.

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

You are definitley welcome

Daniel Sheibley, MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 1,834
Experience: MD Grad Jefferson Medical College 2009. Internal Med intern 2010 & Radiology residency 2011. Husband & father of two.
Verified
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Daniel Sheibley, MD
Daniel Sheibley, MD, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 1,834
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