Hi! I am 16 yrs of age and I have Pectus carinatum/pigeon chest. At this age, as you would know, body image is a big thing. What can I do about it? It makes me embaraced when I go to the beach or to a water park. Thinking about that if I go anywhere. Please if you have any information on how it can be treated I would like to know about it as Google does not give me the answers that I am looking for.
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First Helper jah98
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replied January 18th, 2009
Hey mate im 19 and got same problem. Unfortunatly there isnt much u can do apart from get used to it. sorry. as its a bone and not a muscle, weight training makes little difference. if u need to chat about it gime a quick message ini Razz
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replied January 19th, 2009
Hi, i think i was in your age when i founded out i've got a different chest, i was very embaraced and covered it with a tshirt when i was in waterpark. try ask the staff if you can do the same.
if you tell the staff about your problem, i think they will help, so try next time you're going to a waterpark, take a xtra t-shirt with u, i did that, and i could get away with it, after i told why and so on.
I'd just find out of what i've been diagnosed, the doctors where i doubt, they was starting to think that is Marfan, and so on, it's weird :S
then i got a letter from the danish recruiting for the military, and they say i've got Pectus carinatum.
But anyways hope i could help.
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replied January 21st, 2009
Pectus carinatum (PC)
Have you considered treating your PC with bracing? We have been providing a dynamic chest compression brace for more than 10 years with positive results. 16 is an ideal age to start bracing therapy. Bracing is a non-invasive treatment that is becoming more common especially for PC. There is lots of info on the Web about bracing. Good Luck!
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replied January 23rd, 2009
Help me
Im only 13 and i dont know what i have. dont make fun of me because i dont know any scientific terms.I have a bone that sticks out right under my throat and then dips down farther then my stomach. Its wierd and i cant find out what it is so if anyone could tell me thank you so much
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replied January 30th, 2009
pectus carinatum
I to have pectus carinatum. I was diagnosed with it when I was 13 years old. My doctors were stumped when it first developed as to what it was. So they ended up sending me to Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas. That is where I found out that I had pectus carinatum. They ended up watching it for a couple of years to see how it progressed. In the end I ended up needing surgery. They told me that they didn't do the type of surgery that I needed there so they referred me out to a thoracic surgeon when I was 16. Upon seeing him I was told that I needed to have surgery to correct it. So I would recommend asking you primary care physician about seeing one. There is help out there for this. So don't stress to much over it. I had mine corrected 11 years ago and have had no problems since then. I hope this helps you. If you have any questions for me feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer them.
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replied March 7th, 2009
Pectus
I'm seventeen and I also have PC. I have been working out for two years now in an attempt to cover it up but I think it is growing with me lol. So I have came up with a "Plan B" I will get a job and nag my parents until I get a brace for. I am no longer taking "no" as an option I will fix it whether I have to work another to pay for it or not. So don't give up. Work out hard and don't skip abs!
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replied April 3rd, 2010
i have PC too but not that much as i saw in some photos !but i have those problems as you !! Can i do smthg else to fix it without Surgery ?
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replied June 8th, 2010
My son has PC
Hi,
My son is 13 and was just today diagnosed with PC. I am willing to do whatever he needs to correct this. Do any of you have suggestions on what you think the best treatment is?
Concerned Father
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replied June 17th, 2010
Pectus Carinatum Bracing
Hi Isafil,
I will try and keep this brief but it's a very long story!
My son was diagnosed last July with moderate PC. He is lean and growing like a weed. It wasn't until friends at school noticed the protrusion under his t-shirts that I took action. I just thought he was growing! Our PCP referred us to a cardio-thoracic surgeon at a teaching hospital. We were told to come back in a few years and have surgery. I was so stunned that I didn't even think to ask about non-surgical options. I did in a follow-up call with the surgeon and was told there was 'no data' on non-surgical options. Needless to say this past year has been an experience! I chose not to have my son cracked open like a lobster and began researching all my options. We opted for an orthotic brace and the results have been phenomenal to say the least. The bump is gone and disappeared within 3 months because at the age of 11 his chest is malleable. From what I have read, it would seem anyone under 15-16 years (maybe even older) has a great chance to reshape his/her chest wall before the bones fully ossify. Unfortunately, healthcare will apparently cover a $60,000 operation (I was told the surgeons know how to push it through) but refuse to pay for a $2300 brace (we're with Aetna). And why is our healthcare so bankrupted? I thought surgery was supposed to be the last line of defense today and not the first! I would love to hear from anyone who has had an orthotic brace for PC covered by insurance as I am appealing the decision with Aetna and hearing of other insurance providers who have stepped up to the plate might help our case. We are planning to document our experience this summer on ExperienceProject.com. As for your son, I would suggest you call a reputable hospital and speak to the orthotics department. We chose to do the 24 hr. bracing during the winter months when it was less noticeable and he could wear layers. Yes, kids did notice and asked questions but generally their reaction was positive curiosity. I just told my son to say that some kids need braces on their teeth, and some need it on their chest but it's just a temporary measure in the long run. I'm very proud of him. He has grown 5 inches in the last 18 months and will likely continue to grow at the same rate over this next year. Often this is when PC is diagnosed. Good luck!
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Users who thank jah98 for this post: HermioneNYC  preguntador 

replied April 10th, 2012
Hi jah98 - I have a 15 year old son with pectus carinatum. He is also lean and growing like a weed. We live in charlotte nc. can you tell me the specific steps you took to get your son into a brace - who actually prescribed and fitted the brace? Travel to atlanta is not a problem for us. Unfortunately, we too have Aetna... but the brace is so preferable to surgery ... thanks so much. Look forward to hearing from you!
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replied August 10th, 2012
You have a clinic in Norfolk, VA that is world known for the success they have had with their bracing clinic.
It is at the Childrens' Hospital of the Kings Daughters

Our son has been going to this clinic for a year now and we have had great success. See their bracing video
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replied August 10th, 2012
The pectus clinic in Norfolk, Virginia bracing clinic
has a very successful pectus program for both carinatum and exavatum.

We have had success with our son's carinatum brace from this clinic.
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replied November 29th, 2012
Pectus Carinatum
My son was diagnosed with PC a few days ago. He is 13 years old. His family doctor is now sending him to a carddiologist for an echocardiogram. Is this normal protocol? I am very concerned. My son is athletic and right now is playing basketball for middle school. So I am freaking out. The doctor said not to worry my sons is not that bad and barely noticable on the chest x-ray. He is 13 years old and is "5.6" and weighs 105. This seems to be an accurance in tall slender kids. I live in SC so I don't know what options we would have for bracing but I am not a fan of the surgery. Looks like a very serious surgery.
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replied November 29th, 2012
Especially eHealthy
CrystalG,

Evaluation of the heart and other organs in the mediastinum is a routine evaluation after the diagnosis of pectus carinatum. Because of the deformity, the physician needs to make sure that mediastinal contents are in the correct position and functioning properly. Most of the time, they are.

Bracing for this condition is usually limited to children who still have significant growth left. It is not really the brace that actually corrects the deformity. The growth, while the chest is being held in a more proper position, is what actually corrects the deformity.

How much more growth potential your son has can usually be determined from an x-ray of the hand/wrist. I know it sounds weird, but, the ossification of the bones in the hand/wrist proceeds in a very predictable pattern. So, there is a manual which pediatric orthopedic surgeons use to evaluate the ossification of the carpal bones to tell the skeletal maturity of the patient.


But, as to the need for treatment for the PC, that is usually up to how significant the deformity is. Many patients have surgery just because of the cosmetic deformity, let alone the possible functional problems. If possible, you should take your son’s wishes into consideration when making the decision as to what treatment is chosen. He is a young gentleman now.

Discuss the options with the thoracic surgeon. If bracing is an option, and your son will wear the brace as directed, then that may be the treatment of choice. Sometimes, if the deformity is not too significant, and it does not bother the patient cosmetically, then no treatment may be necessary. Surgery is always the last option.


Hope your son is doing well. Good luck.
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replied November 29th, 2012
PC
Thank you so much for your response. I also work for a cardiologist and physician at work seems to think everything will be fine. My son has never complained of any pain, shortness of breath and doesn't tire easily so I am trying not to worry. He became very upset when the doctor mentioned sending him to a surgeon and even started to cry thinking he had to have surgery.The doctor told me she has seen worse than my childs and his was barely seen on the chest x-ray. I not as concerned with the PC as I am making sure his heart is functioning properly. They mentioned Marfan's Syndrome. But we have no one in our family who has that and he has no other symptoms of that. Just a worried mom. I do thank you for your reply and it eases my mind alittle.
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replied December 2nd, 2012
Especially eHealthy
CystalG,

A member, ohadqumpo, posted a great message at the end of this thread, on how bodybuilding and exercise can help with pectus carinatum. While it will not correct the deformity, in mild to moderate deformities, it can make the chest look better.

This is something that your son can do to help himself. The two of you might look into it.

Good luck.
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replied July 9th, 2010
Jah98, Where do you live? We are wanting to pursue bracing for our 14-year-old son with PC. Thank you.
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replied July 10th, 2010
Hi Bizzymom,

We are in the Southeast US - Atlanta, Georgia. We met with the Orthotics Dept. at Children's Health Care of Atlanta. Through my research over the last year, I spoke with a bracing place in New Jersey, there is one in Tampa, Florida and another in North Carolina. I also corresponded with a bracing company in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. If you're on the US East Coast, let me know if you need more specific details.
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replied January 15th, 2012
Jah98,

I'm in Atlanta and my 13 yo son has been diagnosed with PC by his PCP. Did you have to have a prescription from a doctor to get a brace, or can you contact the orthotics department at CHOA directly?

Thanks!
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replied January 15th, 2012
Especially eHealthy
Jah98,

In most states, orthotists and prosthetists have to have a prescription from a physician to fit a brace, orthotic, or prosthetic to a patient. However, you can contact the shop directly and inquire as to what is needed.

Good luck.
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replied August 10th, 2012
Our son has been in a pectus bracing program with great success at Children's Hospital of the Kings Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia.

I would heartily recommend this clinic. I have tried to post the bracing video for Pectus Carinatum but not sure if this forum will allow it. I am not affiliated with the hospital other than being a very happy parent of a child that is having success with their brace.
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replied July 27th, 2010
Petus Carinatum
My oldest son was diagnosed with Pectus Carinatum in August of 2009 at the age of 14. It is now July of 2010 and his chest is FLAT.
We've seen multiple doctors and surgeons, every single one of them was pushing for surgery. Finally, I found the voice of reason... Joe with Pectus Services. The T-Joe brace is wonderful! I could go on and on, but I'll spare you. My son took his shirt off at the beach for the first time in years this summer.
Joe is based in New Jersey, but travels all over. We met him in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins.
And for those of you who say you can't afford it, Joe will set up a payment plan.
Simply put, this brace has changed my son's life.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them.
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Users who thank lynnshea1 for this post: preguntador 

replied March 18th, 2011
How to get a free pectus carinatum brace
if you have blue cross blue shield health insurance (provided by the government) the 750$ brace is completely covered and its a nice easily concealed brace
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replied March 18th, 2011
newly diagnosed 14 year old
My 14 year old son was just diagnosed with PC. Our orthopedic surgeon recommended the brace rather than surgery. Although she said that her most satisfied surgical patients were PC patients. She also said that she has not done a PC operation in 10 years because the surgery is so invasive and the brace works remarkably well. We also have Blue Cross Blue Shields and were initially quoted a $750 price for the brace, but the price changed to $500 because of the pre negotiated contractual agreement.
My son is able to pop his sternum area away from his body and it is prominantly visible. Our surgeon said this is pretty unusual - something she has never seen before. When he is not popping his sternum area out it lays substantially less visible. But nonetheless it is still noticable.
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replied October 24th, 2011
pectus carinatum or pigeon chest is a chest wall deformity that causes the sternum or breast bone to become more prominent. pectus excavatum is the opposite, a sunken chest resulting in the lower areas of the rib margin to become prominent. These can be treated by Orthotic bracing of the chest or ribs.
i am a certified Orthotist in Hamilton Ontario and I have been treating these deformities with bracing and having successful results.
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Users who thank ortho1 for this post: imapc123 

replied February 2nd, 2012
How do i talk to my parents about going to see you in hamilton because i live in toronto. My parents are totally oblivious and seem to not care.

How long would it take me to correct my PC, as i am 15 years old
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replied March 2nd, 2012
Hey, im 18 and also have PC (but more the barrel chest type). My parents didn't care when I told them about 5 years ago so I wasn't treated. Is it possible to use a brace at this age? I mean I'm still growing a little bit each month... Surgery is no option for me, so I really hope bracing is still a solution
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replied March 3rd, 2012
Especially eHealthy
BXL,

Unfortunately, 18 is usually around the age that bracing is discontinued when it has been used to treat mild to moderate pectus carinatum.

The only way to know would be to have you evaluated by a pediatric orthopedist. They can do an x-ray of your hand and wrist, to determine at what age you are skeletally (which is what is important). If your skeletal age is still immature enough, then you may be offered bracing.

But, again, you are getting to the upper age limit.


Good luck. If you are considering this seriously, you need to get evaluated as soon as possible.

Good luck again.
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replied March 7th, 2012
Hey Gaelic
Thanks for your reply! If it turns out that my skeleton is fully grown, are you sure that there is no other way than surgery? I've seen people with braces for their teeth who were like 50... isn't that basically the same thing?
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replied March 8th, 2012
Especially eHealthy
BXL,

Unfortunately not. With the teeth, what the orthodontist is actually doing is transporting the tooth through the bone. Sounds weird. But, by applying pressure to the bone on one side of the tooth, the bone will resorb (go away), the tooth moves into that area, and the body fills in the area behind the tooth with new bone. The tooth is actually moved through the bone, by gradual, long term pressure.

Unfortunately, around the bones in the rib cage/spine (actually anywhere in the skeleton), you can apply pressure to the bone, but, unless they are still growing, they won't change shape permanently.

This is why bracing in scoliosis has to be done when the child is still growing. Once skeletal maturity is achieved, bracing no longer works. Same with bracing of the legs for bowleggedness. It has to be done when the child is really small, still growing.

Also, in scoliosis bracing, the bracing only prevents progression of the curve, it does not really change the curve that is already there. While in the brace, the curve will look better, but as soon as the brace is taken off, the curve returns.


It does not hurt to speak with a thoracic surgeon, to see what your options are. But, if you are skeletally mature, surgery is usually the only way to get a significant correction.

Again, speak to a thoracic surgeon to see what your options are.

Good luck.
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replied June 16th, 2012
Hi,
one of my good friends has PC, he's 17 and turns 18 in November. I just read that it may also be too late for him to get the bracing because of his bones. So what type of doctor does he need to go to so he can talk about possibly getting a brace fitted (if his bones aren't set yet?
Is it an "orthopaedic" ?
If so I'm trying to find doctors nearby that are able to help (we live in Illinois)
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replied June 16th, 2012
Hi,
one of my good friends has PC, he's 17 and turns 18 in November. I just read that it may also be too late for him to get the bracing because of his bones. So what type of doctor does he need to go to so he can talk about possibly getting a brace fitted (if his bones aren't set yet?
Is it an "orthopaedic" ?
If so I'm trying to find doctors nearby that are able to help (we live in Illinois)
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replied June 16th, 2012
Especially eHealthy
tc32,

It depends upon whether or not your friend has reached skeletal maturity. Braces will only work to correct a deformity (or prevent progression) if the patient still has growth potential. In males, many do not reach skeletal maturity until their early twenties.

Usually, these are treated by a thoracic surgeon. In come cases, an orthopedic spine surgeon may be able to take care of it, but usually, they will refer the patient to a thoracic surgeon. Mainly, because if treatment (other than bracing is needed) a thoracic surgeon would be the one to do the surgery.

Good luck.
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