ORLANDO -- (10/21/2019) -- There are two forms of chest wall deformities that can be found in children.
The most common is pectus excavatum, or funnel chest. This causes the chest to sink in and pushes the breastbone inward. There are ways to deal with this disorder.
Concave or funnel chest occurs in one out of every 300 to 400 kids. It’s more common in boys than girls. But how can you tell?
David M. Notrica, MD, FACS, FAAP, Pediatric Surgeon, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, says, “The first symptom that parents usually notice is that they’re on the field with other kids and they’re getting more winded than the other children that they’re playing with.”
This could lead to chest pain, rapid heartbeat, coughing and fatigue. According to Boston Children’s Hospital, symptoms could show up by the age of one, but Dr. Notrica recommends waiting to go see the doctor.
“The typical age that we’ll first see a patient with pectus excavatum is maybe ten or 11 years of age,” Dr. Notrica continued.
Ways to improve the conditions of this disorder include exercise …
“A lot of kids we will put on an exercise program if they’re simply having mild excavatum or mild indent,” stated Dr. Notrica.
Push-ups, superman, seated twist and camel and bow pose are kid-friendly activities they can participate in. If the symptoms are more than mild, surgery may be required.
The surgery can take up to six hours for a child. Also, there is no way to prevent the disorder as the main cause is still unknown. But kids with Poland syndrome, scoliosis or rickets could develop the disorder.
It is believed to run in families.