Nonoperative management of pectus carinatum

Ala Stanford Frey, Victor F. Garcia, Rebeccah L. Brown, Thomas H. Inge, Frederick C. Ryckman, Aliza P. Cohen, Greg Durrett, Richard G. Azizkhan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Background: Although surgery has been the mainstay of treatment of chondrogladiolar pectus carinatum (PC), several authors have advocated the benefits of nonoperative approaches to induce chest wall remodeling. Based on our initial success with compression bracing, we have integrated this modality into our treatment algorithm. Method: We reviewed the charts of all patients treated for PC at our pediatric hospital between 1997 and 2004. Patients were managed with observation, operative repair, and orthotic bracing that provides continuous anteroposterior sternal compression. The brace was worn for 14 to 16 hours per day until linear growth was complete or for a minimum of 2 years. Results: One hundred patients were diagnosed with PC. Fifty-seven patients had no treatment and were monitored. Twenty-nine patients were fitted with a brace. Of these 29 patients, 3 were noncompliant, resulting in a compliance rate of 90%. Of the remaining brace patients, all have had positive outcomes with no observed complications. Seventeen patients underwent surgical repair. Their outcomes were also positive with no major complications. Conclusion: Our findings clearly demonstrate that compression bracing is a safe and effective treatment for children with chondrogladiolar PC. We currently offer this approach as a first-line treatment, reserving surgery for patients who are noncompliant and those who fail the nonoperative modality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-45
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Chondrogladiolar pectus carinatum
  • Nonoperative treatment
  • Orthotic bracing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Nonoperative management of pectus carinatum'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this