Pigeon Chest Images, Symptoms, Causes, Brace, Treatment

Pectus carinatum is another term used to describe pigeon chest. Pigeon chest is a condition in which chest bone is pushed outward. Pigeon chest is a chest wall deformity. Pigeon chest is also called keel chest. This chest wall deformity occurs during development of fetus or in childhood in case of puberty. During development, when chest wall is formed, chest cartilage connects to ribs abnormally leading to abnormal growth of ribs area connecting to sternum. Pigeon chest is visible in adolescence. One out of every 1500 children is suffering from pigeon chest. It is more common in males.

Pigeon Chest Symptoms

Pigeon chest is a visible condition due to its appearance. Some associated symptoms are as follows:

  • Patient may feel pain or tenderness in chest region.
  • Some respiratory infections may occur due to abnormal positioning of cartilage.
  • Patient may suffer from shortness of breath.
  • Heart rate may increase and tachycardia occurs.
  • Tiredness and asthma can also occur in some patients.

Pigeon chest can also lead to some worse conditions like cardiac diseases, abnormalities in musculoskeletal system.

  • Growth pattern may become abnormal.
  • Kyphosis (hunched back) may also occur, scoliosis (spine abnormal curvature) and some disorders of connective tissue like Marfan syndrome are also seen.

Pigeon Chest Images

Pigeon Chest Causes

Pigeon chest is developed by abnormal connecting of chest cartilage to ribs. The exact cause behind pigeon chest is still unknown. Some scientists said that it can transfer to generations so genetics may be a cause behind it. There are some genetic conditions in which there are greater chances of occurrence of pigeon chest. Some of them are as follows:

  • Some metabolic disorders like homocystinuria.
  • Brittle bone disease.
  • Abnormalities in chromosomes.
  • Coffin lowery syndrome.
  • Ehlers danlos syndrome.
  • Marfan syndrome (most common).
  • Morquio syndrome.
  • Noonan syndrome
  • Last but not least cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome.

Pigeon Chest Brace

Pigeon chest brace is a treatment option for mild to moderate pigeon chest. Orthotic bracing is considered a standard treatment in children to flatten pigeon chest. It is a customized fitted belt which is fixed on chest. Customized brace is fitted to chest region with a purpose to apply pressure on chest and make it flat. Effects are visible after several months. Children are instructed to wear brace for at least 8 hours a day. Children suffering from puberty are asked to wear brace until puberty ends. It will help to control pigeon chest and flatten it.

Pigeon Chest in Females

Some people have a misconception that pigeon chest do not occur in females but truth is that it may occur in females as well as in males. Reason behind this misconception is that, in puberty, breast development in women covers sternum and ribs and breast bone so pigeon chest is not clearly visible. Women come to know about their pigeon chest when pain and discomfort arises. Women can also wear customized brace to combat pigeon chest but unlike men, there are also some other options which can be used to treat it. Other options include some exercises related to chest and surgery.

Pigeon Chest Treatment

There are two main treatment options which can be used to treat pigeon chest 1st one is bracing and 2nd one is surgery. In bracing a belt type customized fitting is fixed on chest. This customized brace help to flatten chest bone by applying pressure on it. Other option is surgical process which is preferred when brace is ineffective to patient or puberty period has passed. Common surgical procedure used is ravitch procedure. In this procedure abnormal breastbone is removed and normal one is placed in chest. Sometimes surgeon break the abnormal breastbone and reposition it accurately.
Pigeon Chest Images, Symptoms, Causes, Brace, Treatment Pigeon Chest Images, Symptoms, Causes, Brace, Treatment Reviewed by Simon Albert on July 10, 2019 Rating: 5
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