DENVER (CBS4)– A Colorado hospital that specializes in treatment of children is using a new way to treat a chest deformity that is less invasive.
The Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at 1719 East 19th Avenue in Denver is using a brace to treat pectus carinatum, a condition that causes the chest to be pushed forward.
Rowan Trietley’s mother first noticed her condition when she was five years old. Rowan is now nine years old.
“People at the swimming pool would point it out to me. I just chalked it up with her being thin and you noticed her chest bones,” said Rowan’s mother Kerry Trietley.
The condition is usually treated with surgery where the chest bones are broken and reset.
At Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children Rowan is being treated by a doctor from Argentina who developed a high-tech brace that fixes the condition similar to how braces straighten teeth.
“If the patient uses it enough 90 percent of patients avoid the surgery we used to perform,” said Pediatric Surgeon Dr. Marcelo Martinez-Ferro.
“Knowing that it’s temporary I think is helpful that it’s not something she’ll have to have on for lengthy, lengthy periods,” said Kerry.
The treatment takes at least a year and the synamic compression brace is tightened regularly the whole time.
“I’m a little nervous though because of the brace. I’m just afraid that when I’m sleeping, like swimming, like I do have to wear it for 16 hours a day. But I just think it will help a lot,” said Rowan.
Dr. Martinez-Ferro said the condition often goes untreated. He hopes the new brace will change that.
Pectus carinatum occurs in about .7 percent of the population and is more common in boys than in girls.