Pectus carinatum is an uncommon birth defect in which a child's breastbone protrudes outward abnormally. Sometimes the deformity isn't noticeable until after the adolescent growth spurt.
For most children and teens, the main issue with pectus carinatum is the way it looks. However, some will also have problems with shortness of breath, especially during exercise.
While surgical repair is an option for people with severe pectus carinatum, the use of a brace to help flatten the chest is the preferred treatment for children whose bones are still growing. The brace is worn up to 23 hours a day, and results can begin to be seen in just a few months.
May 16, 2014
- Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 23, 2014.
- Nuchtern JG, et al. Pectus carinatum. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 23, 2014.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Teens and pectus carinatum. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2010.
- Lee RI, et al. Bracing is an effective therapy for pectus carinatum: Interim results. Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 2013;48:184.
- Desmarais TJ, et al. Pectus carinatum. Current Opinion in Pediatrics. 2013;25:375.
- Zarroug AE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 8, 2014.
- Golden AK. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 28, 2014.
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