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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Tietze syndrome

Other Names for this Disease
  • Chondropathia tuberosa
  • Costochondral junction syndrome
  • Tietze's syndrome
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Your Question

My daughter has Tietze's syndrome. She's in a lot of pain and has missed much of the past year of school. I can't find any helpful information regarding treatment. Can you help?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What causes Tietze syndrome?

The exact underlying cause of Tietze syndrome is currently unknown. Some researchers have speculated that small injuries to the anterior chest wall may contribute to the development of the condition. Some cases may occur secondary to other disorders such as psoriatic arthritis.[1]
Last updated: 9/24/2013

What are the signs and symptoms of Tietze syndrome?

Signs and symptoms of Tietze syndrome usually occur in young adulthood (in individuals under 40 years of age). More than 70% of cases occur on only one side (unilateral) and affect one joint. The most common symptom is chest pain, which can range from mild to severe and can begin gradually or suddenly. Pain is typically localized to the affected area, but it can spread to other areas such as the arms and shoulders. Coughing, sneezing, deep breathing, and lying prone (face down) may worsen the pain. The affected joint is typically tender and swollen. While the pain associated with Tietze syndrome usually subsides after several weeks or months, the swelling may persist.[1][2]
Last updated: 9/24/2013

How might Tietze syndrome be treated?

In some individuals, the pain associated with Tietze syndrome resolves on its own without any treatment. Management options for others may include avoidance of strenuous activity; applying local heat; taking pain medications and/or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; and receiving local corticosteroid injections. Although the pain usually subsides after several weeks or months, swelling may persist.[3][1][2]
Last updated: 9/24/2013

Are there any research studies currently investigating new treatments for Tietze syndrome?

The National Institutes of Health, through the National Library of Medicine, developed to provide patients, family members, and members of the public with current information on clinical research studies. While there may not be any studies listed for a specific condition at a particular point in time, this site is updated often and may be checked periodically. To search for a study, use "Tietze syndrome" as your search term.
Last updated: 9/24/2013

  • Gijsbers E, Knaap SF. Clinical presentation and chiropractic treatment of Tietze syndrome: A 34-year-old female with left-sided chest pain. J Chiropr Med. March 2011; 10(1):60-63.
  • Tietze syndrome. NORD. April 16, 2008; Accessed 9/23/2013.
  • Liu NYN, Canoso JJ. Periarticular Rheumatic Disorders. In: Greene HL, Levinson W, Modest GA, Mulrow CD, Scherger JE, Young MJ. Noble: Textbook of Primary Care Medicine, 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby; 2001;