Overview

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.

Pectus carinatum care at Mayo Clinic

June 10, 2017
References
  1. Kliegman RM, et al. Skeletal diseases influencing pulmonary function. In: Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 3, 2017.
  2. Nuchtern JG, et al. Pectus carinatum. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 3, 2017.
  3. Holcomb GW, et al. Congenital chest wall deformities. In: Ashcraft's Pediatric Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 3, 2017.
  4. AskMayoExpert. Pectus carinatum. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  5. Moir C (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. Rochester, Minn. March 15, 2017.
  6. Loftus PD, et al. Paravertebral regional blocks decrease length of stay following surgery for pectus excavatum in children. Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 2016;51:149.
  7. Brown AY. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 30, 2017.
  8. Gibreel W, et al. Minimally invasive repairs of pectus excavatum: Surgical outcomes, quality of life and predictors of reoperation. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2016;222:245.