Pectus Carinatum

1 What is Pectus Carinatum?

Pectus carinatum is a rare kind of birth defect characterized by an abnormally protruding breastbone. In some cases, the deformity is not noticeable, but becomes more pronounced after the growth spurt during adolescent years.

While the main issue for many children and teens is the way their breastbone looks, the condition may pose other problems like shortness of breath, particularly when doing strenuous exercises.

Pectus carinatum can be repaired using a brace, but in severe cases, surgery may be needed.

2 Causes

Typical causes of pects carinatum include:

  • Rickets or vitamin D deficiency,
  • poorly-managed asthma,
  • open-heart surgery.

The condition is characterized by the protruding breastbone.

Up to 25% of children with pectus carinatum have a history of such deformity in the family.

3 Treatment

Bracing is the most common treatment for pectus carinatum. It is the primary choice, since surgery can pose a lot of risks. The use of non operative compressive orthotic brace, which can reasonably prevent the deformity from getting worse and may even result in a lasting correction of the condition.

On the other hand, severe cases of pectus carinatum may call for surgery, particularly if the bracing did not work. The most common surgical procedures for pectus carinatum are the Reverse Nuss and Ravitch technique.

4 Risks and Complications

Pregnancy and childbirth are the common risk factors for having pectus carinatum.

A vaginal birth can make your pelvic floor weak, thus increasing the risk of prolapse. Women who delivered through cesarean section are less likely to experience this condition.