This condition is variously known as cobbler’s chest, sunken chest or pectus excavatum. It is caused when several ribs grow abnormally, leaving the chest to cave in. Although some may see this as a purely cosmetic issue, it can cause pain in the chest and the back as well as impairing cardiac and respiratory function. Although it’s cause is not fully understood, there is evidence of a genetic connection. Treatment can include surgery through the Ravitch or Nuss techniques, as well as the insertion of a vacuum bell to correct the abnormality.
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