Localized pain and tenderness of the chest, redness, and swelling over the ribs and cartilage near the breastbone are symptoms of Tietze syndrome, notes MedicineNet. The swelling distinguishes the condition from costochondritis, a condition that leads to the same symptoms without the associated swelling.
Tietze syndrome causes inflammation of the cartilage where it meets the rib cage, and doctors diagnose the condition based on patients' histories of pain, tenderness and swelling and may use blood tests to detect inflammation, states MedicineNet. The pain from Tietze syndrome is sharp, can last for hours or weeks and may cause problems with sleeping. People with Tietze syndrome should minimize any activity that stresses the chest cage until the inflammation has gone away.
Doctors recommend rest and physical therapy, and prescribe drugs such as anti-inflammatories and cortisone to treat Tietze syndrome, notes MedicineNet. People may also apply ice packs to the affected area to reduce pain and inflammation and wear analgesic patches to reduce pain. As of 2015, doctors do not know what causes Tietze syndrome or how to prevent it, though the outlook is generally positive for most patients. People with underlying rheumatologic conditions such as fibromyalgia, psoriatic, reactive or rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are more likely to suffer from recurrences of Tietze syndrome.