enlarged ribs?

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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 1042
   Posted 3/17/2007 9:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone
Not very long ago I remember someone having problems breathing due to pain in the ribs.  I also remember someone saying that if you press on the area and it hurts, then it's not the heart. I had it at the time too, and the pain was really something, I couldnt even sleep sitting up it was so bad, but I treated it with increase in my pred and large doses of ibprofen, and sure enough I was better in a few days.  Now I have been noticing on and off, that I am very tender on that side (right) and today during my shower I noticed that the bottom 2 ribs are or seem, much larger than the other side.  Is this common? Has anyone else experienced this? I know it has a name..but cant remember it
Thank you in advance
A/Fib, diagnosed Aug, 1997, R/A diagnosed in Sept. 1998, Pericarditis and Lupus in Dec, 2003, Diabetes, diagnosed march, 2004
sotalol, digoxin, coumidin, plaquenil, prednisone, metformin, diamacron, wellbutrin,fenofibrate

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 5403
   Posted 3/17/2007 10:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Diane, I think what you are thinking of is costochondritis. I have it and my son who has JRA also gets it occasionally. Here's a brief definition of it that I found:

"Costochondritis is an inflammation of the junctions where the upper ribs join with the cartilage that holds them to the breastbone or sternum. The condition causes localized chest pain that you can reproduce by pushing on the cartilage in the front of your ribcage. Costochondritis is a relatively harmless condition and usually goes away without treatment. The cause is usually unknown."

With my son, we were worried that he might be having problems with his heart because the pain was so bad. His pediatric rheumy said that if you press on the chest and it hurts then it is costo, but if you press on it and it doesn't hurt then it may be the heart. However, I always think it's best to play it on the safe side with chest pain and get it checked out.

Costo can be extremely painful - I've had it really bad before. I guess it makes sense that we would get it since it seems inflammatory in nature and a lit of us have elevated levels of inflammation.

I hope this helps. I don't know how far doen into the ribs this affects though, so I don't know if it could be the cause of your tender and enlarged ribs. It's always best to run this by your doc sometime and see what he/she thinks.
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
Meds:  Plaquenil 400mg; Prednisone 5-10mg; Tramadol 100mg 3-4x daily; Amitriptyline 10mg; Neurontin 300mg; Prevacid; Steriod Cream and Mouth Rinse for tongue and mouth ulcers; Hydrocodone 5/500 prn for severe pain; Restasis eye drops



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Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 2244
   Posted 3/17/2007 10:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Diane, I am sorry you are in pain (((hugs)))! At the bottom of my left ribs I have a large knot too, well I don't know if its a knot but it is bigger than the right side. When I first discovered it I was told it was my "floating rib" by a wacky GP, this was before all my lupus symptoms started!!! Now I know it's from costochondritis, I also have it in my breastbone too. I hope you feel better soon! Take care

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding ~ Proverbs 3:5 ~

DX: Hashimoto's 1999, Celiac 2003, Raynaud's 2004, Costochondritis 2004, Lupus 2005 and Sjogrens 2006
Meds:Imuran, Plaquenil, Flexeril, Sulindac, Levoxyl, Folic Acid and magic mouthwash (as needed)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 8198
   Posted 3/17/2007 10:26 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Diane,

  I'm sorry your going through this type of pain...((Hugs)). There are alot of tiny joints throughout the chest cavity and ribcage that can get inflammed and swollen. I see that you also have a history of Percarditis..Ouch! That is very painful!  I agree you should tell your doctor about the swollen areas. Hopefully he/she can get this under control for you soon with a change or increase in some of your meds.

   I hope you have a good weekend. Take care and keep us updated. You are in my thoughts and prayers.


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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 3/17/2007 1:50 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Diane,

I have a floating rib. At least that is what they diagnosed it.  At times I can't take even a little breath and I can't even move with out this horrible sharp pain on the bottom of my right ribs. Sometimes there is a hard  lump sticking out that is sore.  I have to just take tiny breathes and relax and stay completely still til it stops. Usually under a minute. But then it remain a little painful when I take a deep breath. I can remember this happening even when I was a child. And then it started up again about a year ago.  I swear sometimes I am a freak of nature! 

Seriously, whose ribs float. eyes Does this sound any thing like what happens to you?



Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 1042
   Posted 3/17/2007 5:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much Bitzi, Babs, Stacie and Hippi
Yeah hippi!!  that was the post I was trying to remember! And when you were helping someone else, I was also suffering with it, but thought it was pericarditis, but it was different and I tried the pushing on the chest thingy and sure enough..it was quite sore.  Please dont feel bad about me, I'm not suffering badly, but I was just felt a tad alarmed when I had an echo on my heart last week and it felt like the tech was breaking my rib on that side, then of course I forgot about it eyes   then noticed I was still tender, then I saw and can feel the bulge on that right side just like you have Stacie!!  We arent freaks of nature, we are special  eyes   LOL
I will keep you updated when and if I can get in to see my rheumy.  Hope you all have a good weekend girls
A/Fib, diagnosed Aug, 1997, R/A diagnosed in Sept. 1998, Pericarditis and Lupus in Dec, 2003, Diabetes, diagnosed march, 2004
sotalol, digoxin, coumidin, plaquenil, prednisone, metformin, diamacron, wellbutrin,fenofibrate

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