The deformity of the sternum can be in the form of pectus carinatum, where the bone protrudes, or pectus excavatum, where the bone collapses inward.
Pectus excavatum is an abnormality in which the breastbone is sunken in, seen in every 400 births. Also called shoemaker’s breast. Pectus carinatum (pigeon chest), where the chest protrudes, occurs 5 times less frequently.
Pectus excavatum can be noticed at birth or in the first months of infancy. In mild cases, it can correct itself up to the age of 3, but mostly the deformity progresses as the child grows. It is 6 times more common in boys than girls.
Sternum sternal depression may worsen during adolescence; It usually does not change much in adulthood after development is complete. The overgrowth of the cartilage tissue that connects the ribs to the sternum causes the sternum to collapse inward. Although it is not a vital problem, it can compress the heart and lungs, causing shortness of breath and chest pain. It was observed that 21% of patients with pectus excavatum also had scoliosis . A person may have a connective tissue disease such as Marfan syndrome or a congenital heart disease at the same time.
Although the exact cause is not known, genetic factors may play a role.
Abnormal breast appearance due to the disease can lead to psychological problems and lack of self-confidence, especially during adolescence. The treatment is surgery.
It occurs in 1 in 1,500 children. It is 4 times more common in boys than girls.
As the chest wall develops, the cartilages that connect the ribs to the sternum normally form straight joints. If the cartilage grows abnormally, the places where the ribs attach to the breastbone will be of different lengths and the chest may protrude outward (pectus carinatum). Pectus carinatum may appear in childhood and become more prominent during adolescence.
Usually, deformity is the only symptom. Sometimes there may be complaints such as shortness of breath, pain or tenderness where the cartilage grows abnormally, asthma, frequent respiratory tract infections, and fatigue. It may be accompanied by heart disease, scoliosis, kyphosis, connective tissue diseases such as Marfan syndrome or other musculoskeletal problems.
It is not known exactly why pectus carinatum develops. Genetic factors may play a role.
The diagnosis is made by examination. X-rays can show how the breastbone has developed. If there are respiratory-related complaints, pulmonary function tests can be performed. The heart can be evaluated by EKG and echocardiography. If surgery is planned, computed tomography and MRI (MR) imaging may be helpful.
Orthotic braces can be used to straighten the sternum in the treatment. In order for Breysin to be effective, it must be used for at least a few months, at least 8 hours a day, under the supervision of a doctor. If the chest brace is not effective, surgical correction can be made in people who have completed adolescence.