Dealing with rare medical conditions is not an easy task, and the going gets tough when it’s your child.
Pectus Carinatum is one such chest wall-related ailment that could harm your child’s health if left unattended.
The condition’s name describes the malformation accurately. ‘Pectus’ means a bird’s breast, which indicates a bulged appearance. ‘Carinatum’ refers to the pointed keels of ancient Roman boats. Colloquially, it’s known as pigeon chest pain.
Pigeon chest causes the breast-bone to push forward, and it leads to unequal growth in other areas. Its symptoms include asthma, chest pain, tiredness, and shortness of breath, among others.
It's an issue that is mostly seen in teenagers and can be treated without little hassle. Here are a few things you need to understand to help your child beat this condition -
Studies suggest that nearly 5% of people are born with a mild form of Pectus Carinatum. Yet, it remains a rare disorder when compared to other chest wall conditions - Pectus Excavatum.
Nearly 80% of those born with this condition are male. You can detect its signs in the early stages, but its effects become visible only after your child turns eleven. It’s a genetic disorder, and depending on the severity, the condition may worsen as your child enters adulthood.
The bottom line here is you need to be absolutely sure about the problem’s existence and severity. That brings us to the next section - diagnosis.
Diagnosing the Condition
A thorough physical examination is necessary to understand the intensity of the problem. The preliminary diagnosis involves the calculation of the chest’s depth with an X-ray. After measuring the diameter, they can determine if your child has Pectus Carinatum.
The X-rays will help identify scoliosis or other abnormalities leading to pigeon chest.
Here are a few other tests your doctor may recommend -