Family Health Expert Forum
17 yr old with uneven chest
About This Forum:

Questions in the Family / Internal Medicine forum are answered by medical professionals and experts. Topics covered include general health issues, adolescence, babies, child health, eating disorders, fitness, immunizations and vaccines, infectious diseases, medical tests and procedures, and senior health.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

17 yr old with uneven chest

My son is 17 yrs old and thin and about 5'9" tall.  His chest is uneven, the left side is higher than his right.  It is not muscle, it is clearly bone. It has always been like that but was not as noticeable as he is thinner now. He has no symptoms other than yesterday when he was lifting weights (something he recently started doing) and he felt some "pulling" pain on the left side of his chest.  It does not fit into the pigeon chest or anything I have read about since its just one side. You can feel the difference and also can see it. It's not a huge difference, but enough to notice.   He has no medical conditions and is healthy.
Related Discussions
476634_tn?1207935033
Hi,

I can't say for sure because I cannot examine your son, but it sounds like he may have pectum excavatum, in which the growth of bone and cartilage in the anterior chest wall is abnormal, typically affecting 4-5 ribs on each side of the sternum. The defect can range form very mild to severe, and there can be a great deal of asymmetry between the right and left sides (like in your son). The exact mechanism involved in this abnormal bone and cartilage overgrowth is not known.

Some patients with pectus excavatum experience chest and back pain that is usually musculoskeletal in origin. The exact cause of the pain is poorly understood, but is probably contributed to by the poor posture noted in many patients with pectus deformities.

You should take your son to his physician for diagnosis- if it appears that this may be what is going on, he should have Xrays, and possible CT scan.  Also, some patients with pectum excavatum have cardiac and respiratory issues, so he may need testing for these if his physician deems necessary.

Good luck,
JMK MD
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
5614495_tn?1371832804
Christina Palmer, M.D.Blank
University of California San Francisco
,
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
How to Silence Your Inner Critic an...
Apr 16 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eaters: How to Silence Yo...
Mar 26 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
1344197_tn?1392822771
Blank
Vaginal vs. Laparoscopic Hysterecto...
Feb 19 by J. Kyle Mathews, MD, DVMBlank