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tietze's syndrome

Aug. 19th, 2008 | 02:14 pm

Tietze's syndrome
Also known as: Tietze's disease
Description: Inflammation of the costochondral cartilages. A self-limiting disease of unknown aetiology. Pain may be confused with that of myocardial infarction and is usually unilateral on the left side with a high incidence of anxiety state and previous cardiac problems. Although the pain usually disappears spontaneously, the swelling may persist long after the tenderness has disappeared. Twice as frequent in men as in women. Approximately one third of all patients are in the third decade.

Last week I was convinced I had developed Tietze syndrome because intensive googling had revealed that my symptoms for them were a perfect fit. My left-hand side's second and third ribs were spontaneously tender and throbbing with a pain that got worse with coughing and movement. It could have been a heart attack but it was more like a burden than a blow -- a shallowly breathing, superficial pain in the marrow or the bones, rather than some fatal gripping fingery wet punch in the myocardial muscles. It was a self-diagnosis made in heaven till I read about the prognosis and thought about how ridiculous this description sounded. Often mistaken for a myocardial infarcation (heart attack). The pain usually disappears spontaneously without causing any other damage. Most of its sufferers are between the age of 20 to 30 with a third being in their 3rd decade. Doctors still cannot explain why people suffer from it. The recommended course of management was to reassure the patient that he would be fine... except for the temporary heart ache.

Now if that's not medicine taking a potshot at the psychosomatic ills of overly-sensitive 20-somethings being simultaneously terrified of not knowing how to live and not wanting to die just yet, I dont know it what is.

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