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Stents from heart attacks. Why is there pain in armpit? Is it tietze syndrome?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2011
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Doctors, I am a 72 yr old male who is familiar with cardiac problems as I have 3 stents from a heart attack and one stent from a plaque rupture plus an ablation due to flutter. The pain I am feeling does not appear to have cardiac relationship, even though I am sensitive to anything that might relate. Specifically, I have a residual pain under the armpit that is tender to the touch upon the rib or ribs in that area. In googling I have ruled out costochondritis as it is not in the sternum area, but tietze syndrome merits consideration as well as a swollen lymph node. I am very active and do multiple strenuous activities. One such exercise has me thinking of a distinct possibility...that being an exercise that I do on a 65cm ball that simulates an 'ab roller' extension outward and backward. My arms are extended and my pectoral and abdominal muscles are involved. The left side of my pecs feel a slight bit tender, but the tissue that extends backward under the armpit is more tender. As best I can feel for lymph nodes; I do feel some 'beans' that might be sore..I state this because the most sore spot seems to be able to be moved around a bit. With this info, can you give me your best guess and how I might proceed?
Posted Wed, 23 May 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 35 minutes later
Hi there.

Thanks for the query.

Thanks for the query.

Do you have chest pain, shortness of breath, giddiness ?

Any swelling of lymph nodes of the neck, armpit or groin ?

Are you suffering from fever, cough, sputum production ?

Do you have diabetes or hypertension ?

Have you lost significant weight recently ?

According to the clinical picture, it appears you may be suffering from possible lymph node inflammation under your Pectoral muscle close to the armpit. There could be many causes for the same like infections from the upper limbs, chest, thorax.

Even nail infections can cause sore lymph nodes in the armpit, so kindly do look for infective or painful sores anywhere in the chest region and upper limbs.

If you are doing a lot of Benchpress exercise or push-ups the pectoral muscles can get sore. Kindly do take frequent breaks and do warm-up before starting new exercises. The Ab-roller exercise can put Pectoral muscles to strain and could be an explanation for the sore Pectoralis muscle. You may apply pain killer gel containing Diclofenac over the sore area and avoid the Ab-roller or Push up exercises for 3-4 days till it heals.

Teitze syndrome is inflammation of the costochondral junction near the sternum at the front of the chest, hence this may not be applicable to you.

Since you are a cardiac patient, you must be knowing that when the heart isn't receiving enough blood supply it causes pain called Angina. Angina can be felt as crushing chest pain, arm pain, back pain, jaw pain as well. Hence, I would like be be safe with your health and recommend you to get an EKG done to look for possibility of Myocardial ischemia. Kindly do consult your Cardiologist in this regard.

Consume a balanced diet. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and XXXXXXX leafy vegetables. Keep well hydrated. Exercise moderately daily. Get 6-8 hours of sleep daily. Do Yoga for stress relief.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be available to answer your follow up queries.

Wishing good health.


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