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Definition of Chondritis
Inflammation of cartilage that may occur anywhere in the body though is most common in the cartilage of the ribs (costochondritis), on the ends of the bones (osteochondritis), and within the external EAR (auricular chondritis).
Chondritis often results from trauma, such as a blow or, when the external ear is involved, after a burn injury. Bacterial infection may accompany the inflammation. Polychondritis is an autoimmune disorder in which inflammation affects multiple locations of cartilage throughout the body.
Some rheumatologists believe polychondritis is a form of vasculitis. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) may suppress the inflammatory response. Bacterial infection requires treatment with antibiotic medications.
However, chondritis may respond slowly to treatment because cartilage does not have a blood supply to carry medications to the site of the inflammation. Heat and rest may provide some relief.
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