Breastbone Deformity Pectus Carinatum


CONDITIONS

Breastbone Deformity (Pectus Carinatum)

Pectus carinatum is an uncommon birth defect in which a child’s breastbone (sternum) bulges out from their ribcage due to an abnormal growth of bones and cartilage. Depending on the severity of the condition, it is either treated through surgery or with a custom-fitted chest brace. Children with the condition, which is also known as “pigeon chest,” may experience pain, and, more often, embarrassment and social stigma due to the deformity. In rare cases, pectus carinatum may be associated with connective tissue disorders, growth abnormalities or even the onset of arthritis. Surgery to correct the problem involves removal of the cartilage between the ribs and sternum via an incision in the chest wall, followed by the surgeon reshaping and repositioning the sternum. A bar is fitted into the chest wall to help it maintain the correct shape for the first six months after the operation.
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