Q: I have been diagnosed with chrondolysis of the rib area after a bout of pneumonia. I've been given antibiotics,b12 shots, neuronitin, pain pills. This has been more than a month and the pain is getting worse and now it hurts to eat or drink. It seems that my right side hurts constantly up into my shoulders. and it is difficult to use my right arm. I think there is more going on but the doctor keeps giving me pain pills and that doesn't even touch it. I'm scared. My ct was normal.


A:   According to your description of the events and the characteristics of the pain, most likely you may have an Intercostal Neuritis, secondary to the injury of the cartilage (Chondrolysis), which is not a serious condition but very annoying indeed and slow healing. By a spasm or a direct trauma or in your case by being so close to the inflammatory process on the cartilage the intercostals nerve got injured, and that’s why you are feeling that stabbing pain every time you take a deep breath, sneeze or cough, even eat or drink. The suggested strategy would be: please, try to be patient and do not expect an overnight improvement, besides your CT was normal, take the anti inflammatory and pain medication prescribed, and also keep taking Vitamin B12 supplement.Sometimes corticoesteroids are prescribed, but this should be discussed with your doctor. Local moist heat helps to ease the pain. Try to avoid activities that worsen the pain. The healing time is different to each patient in particular but generally takes about 6-8 weeks.

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