Pectus Carinatum, colloquially referred to as “pigeon chest,” is one of the most common chest wall deformities. It usually is first noticed around the child’s eleventh birthday. Pectus Carinatum occurs when a patient’s chest is pushed outward. This outward appearance is caused by the sternum (breastbone) being pushed out by the ribs, or because the sternum itself is angled outward along the chest’s mid-line. The severity of this abnormality generally worsens during growth spurts in late childhood/adolescence.
Treatment for pectus deformities should begin when the child is at least beginning his or her pubertal growth spurt. At this time, when the chest wall is more fully developed, the risk of recurrence and complications is minimized.
Bracing may be an alternative to a surgical approach to treatment. We developed The WPC Compressor brace, a custom fabricated brace designed to gently apply pressure to the sternum, gradually correcting the structure of the chest wall. For best results, the brace should be worn 23 hours a day, 7 days a week. The child may remove the brace for bathing and/or swimming. The brace is typically utilized for one year.