Dynamic Chest Compressor

What is a Dynamic Chest Compressor?

The Dynamic Chest Compressor (DCC) is a bespoke orthosis (or brace) used to treat pectus deformities like pectus carinatum without surgery. It works by applying external pressure to the chest wall over a period of time, gradually reshaping the chest and improving its appearance.

The objective of a pectus brace is to apply pressure over areas of the skeleton to remodel the chest and rib bones.

Typically, there are two main areas where we apply this pressure:

  • centrally on the sternum (breastbone) over the apex of the chest
  • at the bottom of the rib cage if the ribs begin to flare

Each brace is designed to an individual’s anatomy and to treat their particular type of chest deformity.

Dynamic chest compressor pectus brace for pectus excavatum and pectus carinatum from the London Orthotic Consultancy

Patient wearing the LOC Pectus dynamic chest compressor for pectus carinatum

 

 

Over the last few years, orthotists at the London Orthotic Consultancy have been developing a new pectus brace design.

Compared to more traditional Dynamic Chest Compressors, our chest brace is slimline, lightweight and less visible under clothing.

Our new brace design is based on our extensive experience treating pectus carinatum and pectus excavatum patients since 2010. We have designed this new brace based on patient feedback and experience.




pectus brace for pectus excavatum and pectus carinatum worn with rib flaring brace

The LOC Pectus brace Dynamic Chest Compressor (top) with rib flaring brace (bottom)

 

 

DESIGN FEATURES

 

 

Slimmer, streamlined design

The main feature of our new pectus brace is its slim-fitting, low-profile design. This means the brace is far less bulky and noticeable under clothing. We know this is important to many of our adolescent patients, who may be self-conscious about the appearance of their chest and the brace as they are going through treatment.

 

 

 

 

Robust design

Our pectus braces are designed to be worn for months and years at a time and are inevitably exposed to knocks and bumps during that time. We wanted our new brace to be as reliable as possible for patients, minimising interruption to the treatment schedule.

The aluminium frame and 3D printed parts that make up the brace have been tested for their strength during the design process. As a result, we have removed some of the components from our previous brace that were more liable to breaking with wear and tear.

 

 

More lightweight

Our new pectus brace uses lightweight aluminium metal bars rather than steel. This makes it much easier to wear and to carry around. Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for a patient to wear. The more easily the pectus brace can fit into a patient's life, the more likely they are to wear it and see results.

 

 

Velcro straps make it easier to put on and take off

Our new fastening system replaces plastic clips with Velcro straps. This means that putting on and taking off our braces is much easier and only takes only a few seconds.

This Velcro strap fastening system also means patients can tighten the brace more easily should they wish. This allows them to increase or decrease the pressure of the braces according to their comfort levels throughout treatment. The tighter the brace, the increased force is applied to the sternum area and the quicker they are likely to see results.

 

 

Removeable 3D-printed foam pads

Our chest brace uses removable 3D-printed foam pads attached by Velcro. Not only are they more comfortable and entirely bespoke to the patient’s chest measurements, but they are soft and very easy to clean.

The shape of the chest changes over the course of treatment. The removable nature of the foam pads means we can swap them out with thicker or thinner versions at any point during treatment to focus on different pressure points. This helps us to maximize treatment outcomes for our patients in terms of chest correction.

 

 

Less environmental impact

Virtually all the parts of the new braces are recyclable, substantially reducing the carbon footprint of our chest braces, including:

  • the aluminium bars that make up the frame are widely recyclable
  • the 3D-printed plastic clips can be reused and recycled into new braces
  • the foam pads are made from a recyclable material

The only part of the brace that is not currently recyclable is the Velcro fabric straps.

 

 

DYNAMIC CHEST COMPRESSOR

 

 

Pectus FAQs:

This depends on several factors; the position of the chest wall deformity, its severity, the flexibility of the chest, the kind of results wanting to be achieved and the age of the person undergoing treatment for pectus excavatum or pectus carinatum.

Early adolescence (roughly between the ages of 12-16 years old) – is an optimum age to start treatment, given that the chest is still maturing, and flexible, permanent correction is more easily achievable. Once bracing treatment is complete and a patient has stopped growing, the deformity will not return. For younger pectus patients, conservative bracing is used to keep a deformity from worsening and can help them to avoid surgery in later life.

For older pectus patients (between the ages of 20 to 30) results can be harder to achieve, as the costal cartilage hardens into the bone as a person matures. Over the years we have successfully treated many adults for both pectus excavatum and pectus carinatum and active adults with flexible chests can expect good results.

 

If you are worried about your chest shape, or your child’s chest shape, then get in touch for a free Skype consultation with one of our pectus specialists who can assess their chest and discuss treatment options. We are always happy to communicate with local GPs, thoracic surgeons and consultants if a patient approaches us for bracing treatment after considering other options.

 

Again, this hugely depends on what a patient wants to achieve from treatment; whether that’s avoidance of surgery, improvement in the appearance of the chest shape, reduction in rib flaring etc. All these goals are taken into consideration during your first consultation. While there are no serious health risks of having pectus carinatum or excavatum – beyond the cosmetic – for many patients and parents, treatment outcomes involve improving confidence and self-esteem.  During our 2018 Pectus Patient Survey, 92% of pectus carinatum patients surveyed said that treatment had a ‘major improvement’ or ‘an improvement’ on their social life.

You can read the results of our 2018 Pectus Patient Survey and quality of life questionnaire here.

 

Regular reviews are part of the treatment programme, preferably in clinic with one of our specialist orthotists, or via Skype consultations.

The number of appointments needed will vary from patient to patient but as a general rule, younger pectus patients who are growing at a faster rate will need to be seen more regularly for check-up appointments. This is to ensure that the brace fits well and is guiding the chest into the correct position as growth spurts occur. For other patients, this can be scaled back according to their individual needs and demands.

Regular appointments are beneficial for assessing progress, checking for signs of rubbing and determining whether another brace is needed. Appointments are also good for checking patient compliance to brace wearing and the breathing and exercise programme. At each appointment, we make time for patients to see our physiotherapist to fine-tune their exercise programme and check to see how a patient has been managing with the current programme.

We always advise coming in for appointments whenever you have any concerns about the brace or treatment programme, especially if a brace is rubbing or not fitting correctly. At the London Orthotic Consultancy, we have treated numerous international patients that have benefitted from specially designed braces that leave room to accommodate for growth and that can be adjusted remotely. Follow-up appointments for international patients are conducted via Skype.

 

It is really important to continue exercising while going through bracing treatment. Exercise is fundamental to keeping the chest wall flexible. Our treatment programme incorporates a daily exercise routine of around 30-40 minutes of stretching using yoga poses, resistance bands, deep breathing exercises and general muscle stretches. Deep breathing exercises allow the lungs to expand against the chest wall, pushing it outwards.

Exercising with the brace on in the later stages of treatment can also make the chest correction more stable and permanent.

Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise to complement bracing treatment, as the body positions required to swim imitate the resistance band training designed to stretch the chest and increase its flexibility. Some swimming strokes are better for this than others, please check with your clinician. The brace should always be removed for contact sports and for swimming.

 

RECENT POSTS

Introducing our new slimline pectus brace

We are proud to announce the launch of our latest innovation in non-surgical treatment for pectus deformities. Our new dynamic chest compressor is one of the slimmest pectus braces on the market and is designed to reshape the chest without the need for invasive surgery.

Rosie's plagiocephaly journey

Rosie’s very severe plagiocephaly was no problem for the LOCBand Lite 3D-printed cranial remoulding helmet, going from 16mm to 2mm in just six months.

John walks again without aids thanks to Carbon Fibre Neuro Swing AFO

When John came to see us, his ankle was in a bad way. He had around 60mm of his tibia missing and not much if any talus present. He needed crutches to support him to walk. A gait analysis and a new bespoke carbon fibre knee ankle foot orthosis (KAFO) later and he is able to walk again without crutches.

Matilde’s scoliosis bracing story

Matilde travelled from Chile to LOC for bracing treatment for her adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Now, nearly a year and a half since she started wearing her brace, she has achieved near-total correction of the curvature of her spine. This is her scoliosis bracing story.

Will's Pectus Carinatum treatment story

After only 6 months of wearing bespoke pectus braces from The London Orthotic Consultancy, Will started to notice a visible difference in his pectus carinatum.

Iulia's Scoliosis Bracing Story

After trying out several scoliosis braces in Romania, Ukraine and Turkey, Iulia begins treatment with the LOC Scoliosis Brace and is already seeing results in a matter of months. Here her mum, Raluca, describes how and why they came to LOC for her treatment.

Jack's Pectus Carinatum treatment

Through bracing treatment with the dynamic chest compressor, Jack has achieved 90% correction in his pectus carinatum after only two months. Here, mum describes Jack's non-surgical treatment journey.

Iyad's severe plagiocephaly treated in just 3 months

Baby Iyad's plagiocephaly was classed as 'severe' yet was treated in just 3 months of wearing the LOCband Lite helmet.

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