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Costochondral Joint Separation

Costochondral Joint Separation

The athlete shown suffered a costochondral joint separation of the 3rd rib while absorbing a body check. The major signs and symptoms included moderate swelling over the left anterior chest and shoulder, significant point tenderness over the 3rd rib and pain with horizontal adduction and end range horizontal abduction of the humerus. 

There was also a noticeable compensatory posture taken by the athlete to help relieve pain. This rounded shoulder posture resulted in increased tone of the upper trap, scalenes, levator scapula, latissimus dorsi and pec major. 

This athlete found significant relief from some of the symptoms of this injury and compensatory posture with this Rocktape application shown below. 

The pec major strips were applied bordering the affected rib and applied in a comfortable abducted and externally rotated position. The posterior strip was applied with the arm in a flexed, adducted and internally rotated position along the path of the latissimus dorsi. Lastly the superior strip was applied to shoulder and upper arm while the shoulder was abducted to 90 degrees.

The athlete described pain relief and a sense of lift to the shoulder. As a result, he described a feeling of pressure being eased off the anterior chest.

Anterior strips and suspension strip

Posterior strip