Written by: Lisa McMahon, MD

SlipRibImageSlipping Rib Syndrome is an often unrecognized cause of upper quadrant abdominal pain due to weakened ligaments and ‘slipping’ lower rib cartilages which can irritate and damage nerves under the ribs. Many times, this syndrome is misdiagnosed due to normal readings from ultrasound, chest xray, and MRI. Symptoms include severe pain and clicking under the ribcage that increases with movement, deep breathing, coughing/sneezing, or exercise. The ‘hooking’ method can be used to diagnose Slipping Rib Syndrome.

Non-surgical options for Slipping Rib Syndrome include anti-inflammatory medicine, massage, rest, ice/heat, and/or repeated injections of local steroids.

Surgical options for Slipping Rib Syndrome include removal of the affected costal cartilage and if necessary, correction of the flared rib.



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