#1 Ranked Children’s Hospital by U.S. News & World Report
MyPatients provides referring primary care providers with secure access to their patients’ information.
Boston Children's has launched the world's 1st program dedicated to offering hand transplants to children who qualify.
Innovation insider is a semi-monthly e-newsletter analyzes innovations at Boston Children’s, other academic medical centers and from industry.
Read the latest blog by a Boston Children's doctor, clinician or staff member.
There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
What are characteristics of funnel chest and pigeon breast?
Funnel chest is a depression or hollow caused when the breastbone, the bone in the middle of the ribcage, is pushed abnormally inward.
It's either congenital (present at birth) or it develops within months of birth.
True funnel chest exists when the chest remains sunken even when your child exhales or is resting.
Pigeon Breast - Pigeon breast is caused when the breastbone is pushed outward.
Girls usually develop pigeon breast at a somewhat younger age then boys, who do not develop the condition until adolescence, usually from 11 to 14 years of age.
As with funnel chest, this condition may interfere with your child's physical health. The deformity often increases in severity each year until a child reaches full growth. Scoliosis is associated with this condition and becomes more controllable after treatment.
Surgery can correct pigeon breast and the outlook for children who have the operation is excellent.
What causes chest wall deformities?
We don't know. Some studies investigating a genetic component are underway. Although the majority of cases don't involve a family history, there are many that do—enough to warrant the suspicion that genes play a significant role. The genetic story is likely to be complex, though.
If pigeon breast is present during infancy, it may be associated with premature fusion of the segments of the breastbone, a short wide breastbone, and congenital heart disease.
When do these deformities first appear?
Doctors often see both deformities in newborns and during early childhood. Other times, though, it may not be apparent until the child is 9 or 10. It's rare for either excavatum or carinatum to show up after that. The typical course is from mild to more severe, with growth spurts contributing most to severity.
What are the symptoms of chest wall deformities?
In infancy, symptoms of funnel chest can include:
In older children, symptoms of funnel chest can include:
Symptoms of pigeon chest include:
The symptoms of chest wall deformities may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always talk to your child's physician for a diagnosis.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”