A chest wall disorder is when a child is born with an unusually shaped breastbone. The two most common chest wall disorders are:

Often, chest wall disorders are not very noticeable in babies or young children but can become more noticeable as they enter puberty and adolescence. Many children with a chest wall disorder will not notice any symptoms other than an unusual physical appearance. However, children with pectus carinatum or pectus excavatum who feel self-conscious or have health complications due to their unusual chest shape may want to seek treatment.

Symptoms of Chest Wall Disorders

Signs and symptoms of chest wall disorders can include:

When to see a doctor

If your child is experiencing shortness of breath, chest pain or other symptoms, they should see their pediatrician for proper diagnosis and treatment. If your child is bothered by the appearance of their chest wall disorder, treatment may be helpful.

Causes of Chest Wall Disorders

Chest wall disorders are caused by a genetic defect present at birth.

Who’s at risk

If someone in your family has a chest wall disorder, you may be at an increased risk of having a baby with the condition. If your child has any of the following genetic health conditions, they may be at an increased risk of having a chest wall disorder:

Request an Appointment

Contact an Orlando Health doctor

If you suspect that your child may have a chest wall disorder, make an appointment with an Orlando Health pediatrician today so your child can start on the road to improved health.