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Lowest rib connected to the sternum feels detached. What could be the problem?

Feb 2014
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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 5930 Questions
My right lowest rib that's "supposed" to be connected to the sternum feels detached. I can actually feel the tip of the rib when I suck in my stomach and press down towards outer abs. It's been like this for quiet some time and I don't know what may have caused it. I believe it was like a year ago, I kinda got worried because it was like this (felt detached) but there was no pain so I thought I was born like this.. Until today, I found out ribs can detach from the cartilage. I started touching it here and there to see if anything was wrong with it and I kinda hear clicking when cringe towards my right side a move around while laying down. I get anxiety attacks often and my rib is bugging the crap out of me psychologically. What to do Dr.? Thank you.
Posted Sun, 25 Nov 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 1 hour later
Thanks for posting your query.

As per your description you might be suffering from Costochondritis. It is a benign condition. Costochondritis is inflammation in the cartilage that connects a rib to the sternum.

Most frequently it affects young adults between 20 and 40 years old. In contrast to myocardial ischemia or infarct, costochondritis is a benign cause of chest pain.

This inflammation causes localized sharp pain or discomfort in the joint of the rib and sternum, which can be aggravated when the individual takes XXXXXXX breaths, coughs, sneezes or makes other movements that moves the ribs and pulls on the cartilage between the ribs and the breastbone.

Lifestyle activities and infections are both factors that are linked to costochondritis.

costochondritis goes away without treatment. When the cause is unknown the goal of treatment is pain relief.

The only way to diagnose this condition is to take your personal medical history and to do physical exam.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if you have any more concerns.

Please accept and rate my answer in case you do not have further queries.

Wishing you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Lowest rib connected to the sternum feels detached. What could be the problem? 46 hours later
Thank you for your answer Dr.

Should I find a specialist or a physicians?
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 10 minutes later

Thanks for writing back.
I am glad to know I could address your concerns.

You should find a specialist for clinical examination and diagnosis of condition.

If you have no more questions, please close this discussion, rate the answer and give your review.

Wishing you speedy recovery.
Dr. Saurabh Gupta.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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