costochondritis and infection question

Posted , 3 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

I am a 39 year old female, looking for help with costo.

Short version:

I suspect that I have costochondritis that is of infective origin.

I have a strong nagging pain in my chest around the upper breastbone.

A small lump of pus has been removed from my neck (found on CT)

Oral antibio and naproxed for 3 weeks didn't help.

What kind of doctors would look at this combination?

I am in Cambridge UK.

Has any of you had this or something similar?

What is it and what to do about it?

Many thanks for reading and perhaps answering



Long version of symptoms and tests

- very slow onset of chest pain, getting worse -- in pain for 6 weeks now

- pain around upper breast bone and either side of it, radiating to back

- pain comes and goes in the day, lasts for an hour at least, but typically much longer

- pain radiates into back and arms, mainly back between shoulder blades

- mild temperature (around 37-37.5 deg C)

- was tested for most heart condition - all negative

- tested for lung conditions -- all negative

- blood tests normal

- CT scan - normal, except for a 3 cm lump at the bottom of my neck.


Current status:

- pain still getting worse

- temperature remains

- still feeling where the lump used to be

Docs gave naproxen and antibiotics (oral).

after 3 weeks on those, no luck, pain is still there. And much anxiety etc.

1 like, 4 replies


4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi I had a disc bulge but In between been laid out unable to move I caught an infection and had 2 ops to remove 2 huge abcess from upper leg .

    10 mths later and back to work, but the pain you describe I had , but if I caught a cold or virus it really flared up.

    Have I got any answers, well yes and no!

    I'm currently on 2 wks being off work with the pain and muscle spasm I take pregabalin originally 50mg twice daily for nerve damage now on 100mg 3 times a day, Amantadine 100mg twice daily,tramadol 2 four times a day plus methocarbamol for muscle relaxant 2 four times a day!

    It's only just started getting more relief, after upping dose of pregabalin.

    I also have ingections into each rib and spine joint and upper back which really helps me for approx 6 months .

    I see specialist Dr Frazer Duncan at Q/E Birmingham , he's helped me several occasions with drug and injections.

    I honestly can't see any end to this horrid condition , and it makes me laugh that most Drs don't know about the condition , and say it's not life threatening or serious condition ,but they seem to forget the mental and physical pain this condition causes.

    I hope you are one of the lucky ones and it goes once your infection, clears, but stay away from sore throats / colds as this can flare it up.

    It's 6 long painful years and several trips to A/E thinking I was having a heart attack , and having daily pain from neck shoulders, chest , breast and whole rib cage and middle spine.

    Really my whole torso, which is not nice .

    • Posted

      Thank you very much for sharing your story, I hope one day this horrid condition will go away for you!

      I have a couple of specific questions, if you don't mind answering:

      - chest pain: is it dull or sharp? Does it come and go during the day?

      - when you had abscesses in your leg: did you have a temperature?

      Did you ever find out what caused the abscesses and did you get treatment for them?

      - bloodwork: did it ever show signs of inflammation or infection?

      Many thanks again -- very much appreciated!

    • Posted


      Chest pain is both , it's a dull ache around the Centre of chest between breast which when bad is really strong then I get stabbing pain around rib and lung area which is horrid.

      The abcesses were down to the fact we went to Goa and my partner had a tattoo , it got infected but due to me being so low with slipped disc and not being able to move from bed I caught his infection.

      We had so many antibiotics and the hole in my leg was wide and deep enough to fit my partners fist in and then caught staph and , from hospital , in the end I had nurse come twice daily at home to pack and dress area but it just didn't want to heal, so area of both my leg and partners arm was swabbed and we had a telephone call from Londons tropical infections Centre who asked if we had been anywhere foreign .

      We answered yes and he confirmed it was a specific infections & only would heal with 2 antibiotics (sorry can't remember the names) morphine induced I'm afraid!

      After 3 weeks of taking finally it started to heal but hole in leg didn't seal up for 10 months.

      Obviously yes to infection and inflammation in bloods , I think we were or mainly me riddled lol .

      I can honestly say other than sore throats and the norm I was quite healthy , but just by bending and twisting putting a bag in a tip it has ruined my body , I can't do any of the things I used to love to do, and have now got Costo and apparently tiezes as well in a vast area, lucky me.

      I don't know how my O/H puts up with me , but thankfully he does .

      Hope you get sorted 😊

    • Posted

      Oh dear what a dreadful story!

      Hats off to your OH for helping, to you for tolerating the pain and sharing

      the story!

      Thank you!


Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up