Bracing At 21?

I am twenty-one years old and I have just recently went in for a visit at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital to have my pectus carinatum evaluated. I went in thinking that my only option, due to my age, would be surgery and that was fine with me. I've always been an impatient person so having the instant results of a surgical procedure sounded awesome! This was my plan until the surgeon brought me back to reality by revealing that the surgery would cost forty thousand dollars and that my insurance would not cover it since it was purely cosmetic. This was pretty devastating as I knew I would never be able to afford it, but to my surprise the doctor said I did have another option. He told me that even at my age a brace could still work. This news was pretty unexpected considering everything I researched online suggested that bracing is uneffective after age 18 or so. The doctors were so sure that a brace could work for me that I decided to take the chance, afterall 6 months to a year of wearing this thing could completely change my life. At this point I have had the brace for two weeks and let me tell you, it is not easy! The brace is more painful than expected and it takes along time to adjust to it. There have been multiple times where I have taken it off in frustration and I have yet to sleep with it on throughout the entire night. The only thing that has kept me going is the dream of one day having a flat "normal" chest. My hopes in telling my story is that it will motivate me to wear the brace so I can keep you guys updated. I hope that this will finally be the solution I'm looking for!
Kymax Kymax
18-21, M
2 Responses Jan 9, 2013

Hello Kymax,
Glad to hear you are bracing. We have been bracing patients from 3 years old up to our oldest at 36!

Our T-Joe Brace is differently shaped than the one from Cinicinatti. It does not require adjusting, you leave our office with it fully adjusted and set then all you have to do is put it on.

Some tips we can offer you (even though it is not our brace!) don't overtighten it. Wear it so that its just putting some pressure but not tight. Then as time passes if you want to make it one or two clicks tighter go ahead. But at 21 you want to be able to function and not screaming with pain.

Next sleeping, get a memory foam topper for your mattress. The foam will contour around the brace and not push it into your ribs causing discomfort the way a regular mattress may.

If all that still fails, come to one of our locations and take the T-Joe challenge. That is bring your brace and proof of payment (cancelled check, receipt), the prescription, and your brace and we will make one of our T-Joe Braces for you to try at no charge.

Call or email the office anytime. You shouldn't be in that much pain, we have hundreds of kids in braces from 3 years old and all are doing very well.

Glad to help anytime.

Pectus Services

You will get used to it and eventually it won't hurt at all trust me! Also another option to help your self is to workout your arms and shoulders to beef up a little, by this it draws all the attention you get on your chest separated in other areas of your body making it less noticeable and your chest more normal and attractive! Attempt to do upper abbs to. Good luck

Thanks Bracing18! To be honest, I usually feel guilty complaining about my pc because my condition is minor compared to most. The pc itself isn't the main problem but the fact that it is uneven. My left side protrudes more than my right. All I really want to do is even it out. I really appreciate the workout suggestions, I feel like that would help a lot. I'm actually really thin at 140lbs so I defenitely think adding muscle would help mask it. Has working out been successful for you?

no shame in complaining in something you want to change or improve its natural. and it definitely helped my confidence, of course its always going to be there but just ways to help disguise it! i can wear fitted clothing now without the bone prodding out as the pec muscles help to balance it out. just get in a regular routine of taking fat protein shakes a day and 15 minutes press ups and dumbell work! once you see alittle change in months you will carry on and your confidence with grow withit. Also it makes other parts your body look better! No harm on trying :)