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Cracking sternum, tender and warm chest. Diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Taken digoxin as a child. Is this to be concerned about?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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Hi, I am 27 yrs old female. For about 6 months, my sternum has been cracking. It is very loud and painful. I often have warm, tenderness in my chest; it will actually turn red. I am healthy, although I have fibromyalgia. I was first diagnosed when I was ten yrs old at the children's hospital of Wash. DC. I have had since birth SVPT. I took digoxin as a child. I only have episodes when I am over tired, feverish or in very warm weather. Should I be concerned about the sternum cracking? Thank you. Looking forward to your response.
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 26 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.
A popping or cracking noise emanating from the sternum (breastbone) is usually associated with the joints between the breastbone and ribs.
It can happen due to a physical strain like weight lifting, inflammation like costochondritis, muscle spasm or rheumatoid arthritis.
It seems that your episodes are inflammatory in nature. Such episodes are usually self limiting and do improve on taking mild pain killers like ibuprofen and doing a hot fomentation. You can also apply a local analgesic gel for an earlier relief.
There is nothing worrisome about it. In case the symptoms are persistent, then stronger prescription analgesics like naproxen might be needed after consulting the orthopedician.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
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