Pectus Excavatum is a malformation of bone that occurs in your child’s chest wall.
The name means ‘hollow chest’ in Latin. It causes a visible concave deformity and might cause the ribs to grow in a wayward manner. Due to this, it is also known as the sunken chest syndrome or funnel chest.
If you suspect that your child has Pectus Excavatum, confirming its presence and getting treatment is relatively easy. After all, it’s the most common chest wall abnormality observed in children.
We layout your next course of action in chronological order.
Unlike the case of Pectus Carinatum, this condition can be detected when your child is as young as 2 or 3. But they can only determine its severity with growth spurts.
The figures suggest that male children are more susceptible to the condition. At least 1 in every 300-400 children develops this ailment to various degrees of severity.
Nearly 15% of the children who have Pectus Excavatum develop scoliosis - a spine curvature ailment. So, it becomes all the more important to pay attention to signs of a sunken chest.
Consult your physician and understand the severity of the issue. If required, talk to an orthopedist to get detailed insights into your child’s condition.
Unfortunately, researchers haven’t been able to pinpoint the reasons for its occurrence.
Some academics from Boston University have discovered genetic markers associated with the condition. Others tend to relate sunken chests with Marfan Syndrome, Noonan Syndrome, and the likes.
In children with spinal muscular dystrophy, diaphragmatic breathing can also cause Pectus Excavatum.
When mild Pectus Excavatum is detected, no medical intervention is needed. At most, your child may need a few regulated physical activities to overcome the condition’s effects.
In cases where there is a threat of lung damage or cardiorespiratory issues, surgery might be the best recourse. Read on to find out about the various methods and their possible implications.
2. Vacuum Bell
1. Ravitch Technique
2. Nuss Procedure
3. Robicsek technique
After undergoing any surgical procedure, you can expect your child to be kept under observation for 3-4 days. They could be under pain-control medication for up to a month after the operation. It’s best if they skip school and all other physically draining activities during this period.
Amidst all this, understanding the psychological repercussions becomes essential. Attempt to attend all follow-up sessions with your physician, orthotist, or physiotherapist.
Teens especially feel awkward or embarrassed to talk about their feelings. Try to find out if their friends and other family members are being sensitive while broaching the topic.
Additionally, ensure that your child is comfortable during the prognosis and treatment phase. Without their willingness, it would be impossible to achieve the desired results.
Want to know more about the other kinds of chest wall disorders? We have listed them in this all-inclusive blog post.