To begin with, medical providers treating slipping rib syndrome should order tests such as CT scans to eliminate the possibility of other conditions.
SRS medical providers will carefully examine your medical history and inquire about your symptoms, including the onset of pain and any activities that exacerbate it. They will also want to know about your daily routine and what you were doing prior to experiencing chest and abdominal pain.
The physical finding is tenderness along the costal cartilage.
(A) a palpable separation of at least 1 cm at the anterior insertion of the rib into the costal arch,
(B) the rib is unusually mobile on palpation and
(C) palpation at the separation point reproduces the patient’s pain.
The hooking maneuver can be performed by placing the doctor’s fingers under the affected rib and then pulling forward. If this reproduces the pain, it can confirm the diagnosis of slipping rib syndrome. However, this diagnosis process can be exceedingly painful for some patients.
Intercostal nerve blocks can be performed after a positive physical to confirm the diagnosis.
In many cases, radiologic imaging of the chest and abdomen, such as chest X-rays, MRIs, and regular CT scans, do not reveal any abnormalities.
While costal cartilage may not be visible in regular CT scans, 3D CT or High-Resolution scans (128-slice or more CT scanners) can uncover protruding ribs and costal cartilage.
Dynamic ultrasound is a useful tool for the evaluation of a wide variety of musculoskeletal disorders that are best or only shown dynamically—during motion, muscle contraction, probe compression, or position change of the patient.
Other names: Dynamic sonography, Musculoskeletal Sonography, Musculoskeletal ultrasound
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