What causes costochondritis?

Updated: Feb 19, 2020
  • Author: Lynn K Flowers, MD, MHA, ABAARM, FACEP; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

The etiology of costochondritis is not well defined. Repetitive minor trauma has been proposed as the most likely cause. Bacterial or fungal infections of these joints occur uncommonly, usually in patients who are intravenous drug users or who have had thoracic surgery. [8, 9] Costochondritis, among others, is a common cause of atypical chest pain (chest pain not caused by myocardial ischemia) in athletes. [10, 5, 11] Case reports have described costochondritis in vitamin D–deficient patients that resolved with vitamin D supplementation. [12]


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