What Is a Pectus Carinatum Brace? The Best Way to Correct Pigeon Chest

by Dakota Brace

Why Does Pectus Carinatum Happen?

Pectus carinatum is a chest wall abnormality where the breastbone and sometimes ribs protrude outwards. The opposite of pectus carinatum is called pectus excavatum, in which the chest is encaved or indented.

The exact cause of pectus carinatum is still unknown. However, medical professionals believe that it happens because of an issue with the main cartilage that connects the breastbone and the ribs. So when the cartilage in the ribs grows faster than the bones, it pushes the breastbone outwards.

There are two main types of pectus carinatum:

  1. Chondrogladiolar prominence — chicken breast, and
  2. Chondromanubrial prominence — pouter pigeon chest

The condition can be genetic, but that’s not always the case. Researchers have not identified the primary cause. One in every 1,500 children in the US is affected by pectus carinatum. Male children are more often diagnosed with the condition compared to females. 

Pectus carinatum symptoms generally appear more often in males than females. Overall the condition is quite visible during puberty. If left unhandled, pectus carinatum worsens and can bring about scoliosis and permanent chest distortion.

What Are the Common Symptoms of Pectus Carinatum?

Pectus carinatum is asymptomatic, meaning, it doesn’t have any noticeable symptoms. However, when the main signs of pectus carinatum include:

Outward Chest

The main sign of pectus carinatum is an outward chest appearance. During adolescence, the child’s chest becomes visibly pushed out. This sign can present itself as early as 10-years-old.

Other Symptoms Include

  • Chest pains
  • Broad, thin chest
  • Lateral curvature of the spine
  • Fatigue
  • Increased heart rate
  • Shortness of breath mainly after an exercise

    How to Fix Pectus Carinatum

    There are two treatment options for pectus carinatum:

    1. Non-surgical, which is the recommended approach, and
    2. Surgical

      Non-Surgical Approach

      Non-surgical treatment involves the use of a pectus carinatum chest brace. The treatment is primarily effective in children as they are still developing. On the other hand, chest bones in adults are fully formed, making the use of braces ineffective. 

      The pectus carinatum chest braces mold and repair the child’s chest. They work by gently putting pressure on the outward breastbone as the child grows. Steadily your child’s chest will reform and reshape. When purchasing a pectus carinatum chest brace, it should always be customized to fit the child.

      As your child grows, these braces are adjusted to provide comfort. Children should wear these braces frequently for maximum results.

      Surgical Approach

      The surgical treatment is primarily recommended for adults, but kids with critical pectus carinatum may also need to undergo surgery. The operation follows the Ravitch procedure.

      The surgeons incise the chest, reshape the rib cartilage, remove damaged cartilage, and place bars to keep the sternum in position. After surgery, your child should refrain from vigorous activities.

      Understanding the Different Types of Braces

      There are different unique braces to help deal with pectus carinatum. At Dakota Brace, we have quality Pectus braces, Rib Flare braces, and braces that can treat pectus carinatum and rib flare together. 

      Pectus Brace

      The Original Dakota Brace is customized based on the guidelines and instructions, and is ideal for both males and females with pectus carinatum. From the 3D scan of the body to design, 3D printing, strap design, and fabrication, everything about the brace is custom-made under the supervision of a certified clinician.

      Dakota Brace Custom Pectus Brace

      Dakota Brace gets its name from North Dakota, the company's home state. This is the original and most popular brace, having been successfully used by hundreds of adolescents.

      Rib Flare Brace

      Rib flaring is associated chiefly with pectus carinatum. A rib flare is a condition in which your lower ribs protrude outward. Treatment for rib flaring includes exercising, wearing rib flare straps, or braces.

      Rib flare braces can be utilized where the rib flare condition is mild or severe. Dakota Brace makes rib flare braces known as Rider Braces. They give great results to those that lack pectus carinatum but have rib flare.

      Rider Brace Custom Rib Flare Brace

      Rider Braces are named after the first state representative of North Dakota, Teddy Roosevelt, and his Rough Riders. All braces, including the Rib flare brace, are made under the guidance of a clinician and designed to enhance comfort.

      Pectus and Two Rib Flare Brace

      This brace is great for people with both rib flare(s) and pectus carinatum. The Bison Brace, has a center panel for the pectus carinatum and two extended panels, providing coverage for two rib flares.

      Bison Brace Custom Pectus & Two Rib Flare Brace

      The Bison Brace was named after the North Dakota State University champion college football team. Bison braces are customized according to a clinician’s guidelines; 3D scanning of the patient’s body and 3D printing of the brace ensure it suits the body perfectly.

      Why It’s Worth Investing in a Custom Brace

      A customized brace is the best solution for a growing child. At Dakota Brace, we use 3D scanning technology, which gets your child’s measurements perfectly and administers the perfect brace. It helps achieve the best results.

      Dakota Brace works with certified clinicians every step of the way, from consulting to delivery of the brace. Ensuring the right brace fit and comfort is their end goal.

      Here are just a few reasons a customized brace for your child is the way to go:

      It Saves You Money and Time in the Long Run

      Custom-made braces are designed specifically for your child’s body. You don’t have to spend time looking for the right brace. Getting a custom brace also saves you the cost of purchasing another brace. It can be easily modified and adjusted to suit your child.

      A Poorly Built Brace Can Do More Damage Than Good

      If you purchase the wrong brace, it can be detrimental to your child’s body. It is always best to buy a custom-made brace. This way, you are assured it will align with your child's body and ensure the best results.

      Easy to Work With Certified Clinicians to Get Your 3D Printed Custom Brace Online

      Getting a custom brace from Dakota Brace is a one-of-a-kind experience. You are involved every step of the way under the supervision of a certified orthotist. The virtual meetings with the clinicians are accessible and blend in with your schedule. So there is no need to take your kids out of school! 

      A Pectus carinatum brace is a lightweight chest brace used to treat pectus carinatum. It is effective for children as their bones are still developing. Pectus arinatum braces are made from quality materials and can be customized to suit the child's needs.

      Pectus Carinatum Brace image

      Ready to restore your child’s health and confidence? Click here for your free consultation and get 10% off your first order. Dakota Brace is with you at every step of your journey. We make braces with love that gives your child maximum comfort.

      FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

      How much is a pectus carinatum brace?

      According to one of America's best children's hospitals, a pectus brace visit and consultation alone can cost $628 to $1,823. On top of that, the standard cost of a pectus brace from a hospital is $4,125.

      At Dakota Brace, we offer free consultations with a certified practitioner to create a 3D modeled brace with a true one-of-a-kind design. Our custom braces range anywhere from $1,000 to $1,400, just a fourth of the cost of buying a brace through a hospital.

      Is pectus carinatum dangerous?

      Pectus carinatum is non-life-threatening. The vast majority of children who are diagnosed can live completely normal lives!

      When it comes to children who require medical intervention, the results are seen within a short period of time. Those who choose bracing treatment report high levels of satisfaction and positive changes in self-image, which is important to many parents and children.

      What causes rib flare?

      The majority of rib abnormalities in children are caused by genetic mutations. These can be inherited from one or both parents, or they can happen on their own as de novo gene mutations.

      In other cases, the rib abnormalities have no known cause.

      Rib flare can occur later in life as an adult due to poor training, breathing, or stress, in which the bottom ribs protrude rather than being tucked into the body. Although there is no pain or injury associated with this condition, it can impair an athlete's performance and make them more vulnerable to injury.

      Ready to restore your child’s health and confidence? Click here for your free consultation and get $75 off your first orderand get evaluated for either our Custom Pectus Brace (The Dakota Brace) or our Custom Pectus & Two Rib Flare Brace (The Bison Brace).