Costochondral Separation Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Learn What is Costochondral Separation, its symptoms, causes, and treatment for the separated ribs at costochondral junction.

The function of our ribcage is to support the upper part of the body and protect the vital organs like lungs and heart. The ribcage also helps in breathing. One of the several causes of chest wall pain is costochondritis caused by rib cage injuries or dislocated rib.

There are twelve pairs of ribs. In these pairs, ten pairs are attached to the sternum bone. Other two are not attached to the sternum bone. These two ribs are known as floating bone. Ten pairs of ribs are attached to sternum bone through the joint named as costochondral joint.

Costochondral Separation is a condition in which ribs separate from the sternum. These ribs are attached to the sternum by a joint named as costochondral. Sternum bone is also named as breast bone. It is the straight bone of six inches long and one inch in length.

Sternum bone is straight and present at the center of the chest. All ribs are connected with this bone with the help of joints called as costochondral joints. This sternum bone protects thoracic organ and other main organs of the body. The costochondral joints costal cartilage with the ribs.

Costochondral Separation Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Costochondral Separation Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Costochondral separation is also known as a rib separation usually, occurs after a direct injury or impact which results in dislocated rib symptoms and requires timely treatment. Let’s look at the Causes, symptoms, and treatment of Costochondral Separation are given below:

Dislocated Rib Symptoms Symptoms

The most common symptoms that appear with costochondral separation also known as dislocated rib or separated rib at costochondral junction are:

  1. Pain with sudden onset specifically located at the point where the rib connects with the sternum (costochondral joint)
  2. The patient might also experience a popping sensation
  3. Due to the adrenalin rush common in accidents, the pain might subside initially. However, it will become worse, as the adrenaline levels drop down to normal
  4. Coughing or taking deep breaths can also aggravate the pain
  5. The pain is aggravated by movement, which affects the quality of sleep and reduce the level of activity of the patient
  6. Coughing and sneezing can also be present among the symptoms
  7. Apart from the acute pain, the patient might experience difficult breathing

Costochondral Separation Causes

There are many causes of this separation. Here, we given prime causes of this separation:

  • Rib injury during accident.
  • Falling from the height.
  • During exercising.
  • Chronic cough.
  • By over twisting the body

Costochondral Separation Diagnosis

The physician may examine physically by moving the arm in different directions, press the chest to see the separation and ask for breath to find the location of pain. If there is separation then physician also examine the sternum bone to check whether it swells or not.

If any abnormality or dislocated rib symptoms are found at costochondral junction in physical exam, a chest x-ray can confirm separated ribs or torn rib cartilage.

It is just to locate the separation place as well as the other parts affected due to it. X-ray is performed from different points to see the perfect location of separation where ribs are separated from the sternum bone. After this, the physician decides what type of treatment is to be given.

Costochondral Separation Treatment

When Costochondral Separation is diagnosed, patient needs to take rest. Activity like the lifting of a heavy object or playing any game that exerts any pressure on the affected area are ceased during the treatment process. The physician also prescribed medicine to decrease the pain.

Doctors prescribe anti inflammatory medicine to reduce the inflammation. They also suggest the ultrasound of the chest when needed to see the condition and to know how long it takes to completely heal. After completion of healing process, doctors prescribe heat pad to increase the blood flow rate, it also increases the healing process. High intake of calcium and potassium is also prescribed .

About 80-90 days are required to heal and complete rejoining of ribs. So one should take proper treatment to heal Costochondral Separation and prevent any complication.

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