Tietze Syndrome – Treatment, Pictures, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Causes

What is Tietze Syndrome?

Tietze syndrome is a condition in which the patient experiences a painful, benign and  non-suppurative localized swelling in joints of Costo sternal, sternoclavicular or costochondral region.

It was first described and researched by Alexander Tietze in early 19th century. The condition mostly affects the region near second and third ribs. The condition is mostly found in young adults. However, the syndrome is noncommunicable and limits to an individual.

The researchers are still unable to discover the exact reason that causes the syndrome. In most of the cases, the patient suffering from Tietze syndrome complaints about excessive cough and respiratory infections. The syndrome is common in young people, but it can affect any individual under the age of 40 years. A patient suffering from the condition often complaints about discomfort or pain in costal cartilage. The level of pain elevates with physical movement like cough and sneezing in patients.

Causes of Tietze syndrome

The exact reason that causes is still unknown, but doctors believe that injury or strain causes the condition. In many cases, physical movements like excessive coughing, sneezing or vomiting causes Tietze syndrome that leads to chest pain. The syndrome is most common in teenagers and adults.

Some cases indicate that the physiological stress triggers, but there is no solid evidence to prove it. Doctors believe that the Tietze syndrome has genetic linkage and transmits through heredity, but researchers are yet to prove this theory. Respiratory tract infections and chest injury leads to this condition.

Diagnosis of Tietze syndrome

In several cases, it has been noted that patients misunderstand the painful symptom of the syndrome with other myocardial disorders. The localized swelling and pain indicates the occurrence of Tietze syndrome. The diagnosis of the condition includes several tests and examinations for the confirmation of Tietze syndrome.

ECG is done to check whether the chest pain is due to a myocardial condition. CXR is done to test for pathological infections. Mostly doctors recommend MRI scan and ultrasound for patients to detect the Tietze syndrome.

Symptoms of Tietze syndrome

The main symptoms include sharp chest pain in the affected areas. The chest pain is mostly experienced in the region between second and third rib cartilage. The pain is triggered with a tender touch or physical movement.

The pain sometimes causes tiredness and fatigue, and the patient feels weakness. A patient suffering from the condition also experiences pain in arm and shoulders. Many times, the patient confuses the symptoms of Tietze syndrome with mild heart attack.

It is necessary to take the symptoms seriously and visit the doctor for immediate treatment before the condition worsens. If the condition of tietze syndrome is diagnosed then doctors prescribes non-steroidal inflammatory drugs to treat the unbearable pain.

In case the simple painkillers are not helping to slow down the pain, then the doctors recommend injection of cortisone, for example, triamcinolone. The condition generally disappears within 12 weeks of the occurrence.

But the condition is found to be chronic in some cases. The chronic cases need immediate medical examination to combat the condition. Some people misinterpret the Tietze syndrome with mild heart attack and undergo heart diagnosis. In Tietze syndrome, the breastbone gets affected, and the patient feels difficulty while rolling on the bed. The pattern of chest pain also changes with time. In acute cases, the pain is less but repetitive but in chronicle Tietze syndrome, the chest pains are predominant and sharp.

Treatment for Tietze syndrome

It has been noted that the chest pain, swelling and tenderness in patients arises due to excessive physical activity and excessive physical stress like cough, sneezing, vomiting. It is advisable to minimize the physical activity that triggers the chest pain.

To combat the situation, physicians recommend pain killer medicines and anti inflammatory drugs. If the medicines are not effective in reducing the chest pain then, the doctor can recommend pain killer injections. In the area where swelling has appeared and tenderness can be felt, the patient can apply an ice pack to sooth the pain.

The ice packs help in reducing the inflammation that causes palpitation and repetitive pain. Application of Local lidocaine analgesic patch can also prove to be helpful in reducing chest pain. In some cases, doctors recommend acupuncture and yoga therapy to treat chronic cases of Tietze syndrome.

The condition improves on its own after few weeks. Although in some cases the condition lasts for few months. The condition is not fatal for life and does not lead to permanent problems. The case of chest pain must be taken seriously, and the patient must seek immediate advice for the condition. The condition can be treated properly with adequate rest and proper medication recommended by the doctors.


inspection of costosternal joint in tietze syndrome

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Tender over breast bone in tietze syndrome

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Tietze Syndrome joints

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3 thoughts on “Tietze Syndrome – Treatment, Pictures, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Causes

  • 28/01/2017 at 2:59 PM

    A rolling stone is worth two in the bush, thanks to this arelcit.

  • 05/07/2019 at 7:46 PM

    My pain is just under my breasts. The pain stops me inmy tracks. I am usually breathless at the time. This is happening more and more often. My doctor has said that it is from the wire in my bra. But I have been wireless bras for a long time.

  • 07/06/2020 at 5:15 PM

    I am 68 years old and still have Tietze syndrome and during the summer it is unbearable. With the pain and the not being able to breathe good it is unreal. I was diagnose with it about 30 years ago. A very respectable doctor researched and researched until he found out what was the matter with me an how to treat it. Unfortunately he has passed away.


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