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There is little difference between Tietze and Costochondritis. Both disorders are related and are an inflammation of the cartilage of one or more of the upper ribs. Tietze is contained to the cartilage between the ribs and the sternum and sometimes a swelling near the sternum may appear. We speak of costochondritis when the cartilage between the ribs and the spine is inflamed.

Rare or Chronic condition.

In 2010, on request of the Tietze syndrome and Costochondritis Association, TNO undertook a research on a specified target group. It is believed that there are approximately 5000 Tietze or Costochondritis patients in the Netherlands, which makes it, by definition, a rare disorder. But this is only an assumption. According to the scientific community, Tietze is not a chronic disorder. In most diagnosed patients, the inflammations disappear after a few months, however there are some Tietze patients who will suffer from this disorder for months and even years. The information on this website is intended for these chronic Tietze Syndrome patients.

[source 24-12-2015: website of ReumaNederland]

Some Facts:

  • Tietze is not a life threatening disorder.
  • The pain associated with Tietze resolves itself after a few months, but in some cases it becomes chronic and the pain and symptoms will re-appear or continue for years.
  • The pain can cause fear and stress.
  • The exact cause is still unclear.
  • A conclusive treatment is  not available.
  • Contact with fellow sufferers can help you.
  • Tietze affects people from all ages and gender.
  • Tietze and costochondritis are both non-bacterial infections and can therefore not be treated with antibiotics.
  • The treatment consists of steroids and pain relieve medication, however physiotherapy, a good posture and abdominal breathing can help to relieve the pain.

Key words

  • Costo = Rib
  • Chondir = Cartilage
  • Itis = Infection

Effects on life

As shown on the pages of this website, many patients are confronted with this disorder on a daily basis and everyone experiences it differently. Because of this and the sometimes very agonizing pain, the disease can have a negative effect on the way people experience life as a whole. Which is why Tietze Syndrome should be receiving more attention from medical establishments than it is at the moment. In 2019 the quality of life for people with Tietze was surveyed. Through this survey it was revealed that patients with Tietze judged their life quality to be a 61.4 out of 100 on average. This is significantly lower than the quality of life of the average Dutch populace.


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