Magnets to correct 'sunken chest'
Researchers at UCSF Children's Hospital in San Francisco have launched a groundbreaking study to determine whether a new procedure using magnets can correct sunken chest, the most common congenital chest deformity, in the same way that orthodontic braces gradually realign teeth. Sunken chest, which is known medically as pectus excavatum, is a deformity of the cartilage that connects the ribs to the breastbone. The deformed cartilage pulls the breastbone inward, making the chest look caved in or sunken. The condition occurs in about one in 800 children born in the United States each year and is three times more common in boys than girls.A UCSF team developed the new procedure, in which a magnet attached to the child's breastbone is coupled with a second one outside the chest that creates a steady, controlled, outward pull on the internal magnet to reshape the bone, cartilage and chest wall.
Source: medgadget.comAdded: 19 March 2007