can you explain the "lumps" on your ribs? are they actual, palpable lumps that you can feel? that are like a mass? a tiny ball or pea size? or do you mean that when you look at your chest wall and ribs they look like they're ridges? and are "lump" resembling?
now also, do you mean a + RF? (rheumatoid factor)
with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) costochondritis is quite common. myself being one of the many who has it as well. it's like a close cousin to pleurisy...that's the way i can best explain it.
with plueritis, the pleura tissue gets inflammed, and therefor painful. and the same process goes for costo...the intercostal tissues (ribs/cartiladge) and chest wall become inflammed & then it's very painful to breath for instance. mostly on exhaling...and then many times it feels like you can't breath in fully too. hurts to actually touch the chest wall & ribs and even the skin all along it. some folks it hurts to talk, eat, bend....it can be a little different for every person. even might feel like your heart hurts or pressure on the heart & chest.
there's really no blood test to DX costo...it's DX by ruling out infectious lung problems. with an AI disease history...it's likely to occur sometimes in people. if bad enough, it can sometimes show up on XRAY or CT or MRI. through the docs stethoscope there might be a slight scratchy sound.
nsaids, painkillers, pain patches, heat pads, steroids, moist heat, rest and sometimes cough syrup RX, menthol rubs are given for treatment for costo.
i've found that since being on the TNF drugs & biologics...my case of costo has improved a bit (or at least feels a bit more in control). i think Enbrel helped it the most.
how are you doing today?
what's your doc thinking? you show a +ANA and an RF....are they thinking you have RA or Lupus or don't they know yet? Do you have objective joint problems like swelling and such?
take good care & write back soon.
Active Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. Crohns Disease. A.Chiari Malformation & right brain venous anomoly. Partial Complex Seizures. MVP & Tricuspid Valve Prolapse. Rheumatic heart & lung. Previous Lymes Disease for 10 years.
Meds: Remicade infusions Q3 weeks; Intra-articular knee injections; Imuran; Mesalamine; Prednisone tapering from 120mg; Meclizine; Reglan; LidoDerm; Diazepam; Restaril; Dilaudid; Avinza and too many others.