A condition which is marked by the swelling of the cartilage that joins the rib to the sternum or breastbone. It looks like a junction and it is referred as the costosternal joint. It is considered as the most common cause behind chest pain in adolescents and children. According to doctors, approximately 650,000 cases of chest pain arise every year in young people of age group 10-21 years. The peak age for the occurrence of this disease is 12-14 years.

If you are feeling pain in the chest region then keep yourself away from Stress  because it is known to worsen the sensation. Too much physical effort, in the form of heavy lifting and strenuous exercise, has been linked to the development of this condition. Severe coughing has also been considered to be a possible cause. An injury in the chest in the form of a blow or strike could also give rise to this problem. An infection of the rib joint by microbes, such as bacteria, fungi or virus may also lead to the problem. The condition may also arise due to cancerous and noncancerous tumors. Cancer may shift to the rib joint from any other area such as the lung, breast or thyroid.

This medical condition is usually diagnosed by a physical examination of the tender and painful region. While examining , doctors usually touch the areas along the breastbone to sense any swelling or tenderness. Patients could be asked to move their arms or rib cage in certain ways that can help trigger the symptoms in sufferers.


Below you can find all relevant information about Costochondritis itself as well as the ICD code which is used for this medical condition

ICD 9 Code for Costochondritis

The ICD 9 Code for this condition is 733.6. Diagnosis Code for Reimbursement Claim is written as ICD-9-CM 733.6. In October 2015, this Code was replaced by ICD-10-CM 733.6.

Types  of Costochondritis

Costochondritis  is usually classified into following types:

Inflammatory Costochondritis
It is characterized by inflammation or swelling of the region. The exact cause of inflammation is not known.

Infectious Costochondritis
This is another type of Costochondritis, that arise due to a bacterial or fungal infection of the affected spot. It may also arise as a post-surgical or a post-traumatic infection which can occur months after a surgery on the area or an injury to the affected region.

Acute Costochondritis
This form often arises after an upper respiratory infection or chest surgery. It usually develops after surgery, in that case , a bacterial infection is the most possible cause. Antibiotics are used in such cases. When it arises after a viral respiratory infection, the condition is most likely to resolve on its own in a matter of few weeks.

Chronic Costochondritis
When there is swelling of the bones and cartilage of the chest wall and patient feel severe chest pain, this condition is described as Chronic Costochondritis.  Chronic cases of this condition are too difficult to diagnose. Doctors often confuse the painful symptoms with effects of depression and end up prescribing anti-depressants to patients. In this condition, patients may suffer from painful symptoms in the sides of the ribs, the sternum or the frontal region of the chest.

Symptoms of Costochondritis

Following are some important symptoms of Costochondritis:

  • Patient feels tenderness and pain in the costosternal joint.
  • Pain is the most common symptom as it is found in more than one area in 90% cases.
  • The painful sensations usually arise more frequently on the left region of the breastbone although these may be experienced on either side of the chest.
  • Patient describe this pain as acute although it can be dull and gnawing in some people. The disorder may affect any of the seven costo-chondral joints.
  • In some individuals, the pain may radiate to the abdomen or the back. The fourth, fifth and sixth ribs are the most common spots where pain can be experienced.
  • Pain tends to increase on taking deep breaths or while the trunk is moved. The painful sensations decrease as the breathing becomes slower.

Some other less common signs and symptoms of this disorder include:
  • Pain during coughing
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Tenderness on pressing the rib joints

 Treatments for Costochondritis

This condition don’t need always treatment. Generally it resolves on its own. In some cases, however, the disease persists for several months or even more. Following treatment may help:

  • Many people use pain killers to manage aches. If that does not help, a visit to doctors is necessary. 
  • Physicians may recommend other medicines like NSAIDs, Antidepressants, Anti-seizure drugs, Narcotics or may be Therapy.
  • This condition can be effectively treated with the aid of physical therapy, which might involve

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