The Dynamic Compression Device Brace (DCD) is the newest brace available for the external treatment of chest wall deformities.
Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children (RMHC) is now the exclusive medical center in the western U.S., and one of only six in the country, to offer the DCD as a method of correcting Pectus Carinatum (PC), a common chest deformity that causes the sternum to protrude, sometimes called “Pigeon Chest.”
Each DCD is custom-made for each child and works very much like braces on teeth. The brace is adjusted to apply enough pressure to correct the chest deformity, but not so much that it is too uncomfortable for the child to wear.
Exclusive Protocol and Expertise
The DCD was developed by world-renowned physician Dr. Marcelo Martinez-Ferro, who has personally worked with RMHC pediatric surgeon Dr. Steven Rothenberg and his patients at the Chest Wall Deformity Correction Center.
What Does The DCD Look Like?
The brace consists of a front-cushioned compression plate held in place by multiple lightweight aluminum curved segments fastened together by screws to form a rigid belt. This plate then applies pressure at the apex of the protrusion. The DCD is customized for each patient and designed to fit tight to the chest and middle of the back; it is fairly small and barely noticeable under clothing.
What Is The Wear Schedule For The Brace?
The key to successful treatment with the DCD is wearing the brace. Patients are encouraged to wear the brace as much as possible - up to 23 hours per day. The brace can be removed for showering, bathing and when participating in sports but otherwise should be worn at all other times.
Once the physician has determined the correction has been made, the patient will transition into a “retainer” phase. During this time frame, daily wear will be reduced, but is still necessary. On average, the treatment and retainer phases can last anywhere from six to twenty-four months (or longer) depending on severity of PC and individual responses to the brace correction.
Is the Brace Painful?
The brace should not be painful. However, patients may experience some discomfort during adjustment periods. Most children will say their chest is slightly sore after the initial fitting and subsequent adjustments. Pain caused from adjustments can be treated with over the counter medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) or Tylenol.
If the patient has trouble sleeping with the brace, memory foam or similar type padding can be helpful when placed over the mattress.
What If The Brace Doesn’t Work?
There is a very small chance that PC reoccurs after treatment with the DCD. Recurrence has most commonly been noted during a rapid growth spurt and typically several months after the correction. In those instances, treatment with the brace would begin again until the correction was made.
If the brace has been worn as directed by the physician for at least two years, surgical intervention may be considered. At this time, patient, parents and surgeon will discuss options to form a cohesive plan of care moving forward.
To schedule appointment with any of our world-class physicians at the Chest Wall Deformity Correction Center, call 303-839-6001.
Rocky Mountain Pediatric Surgery
2055 High St.