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Physical therapy for pectoral aplasia?



My 13 year old son is missing a pectoral muscle on his right side. The pectoralis minor seems to be present as well as the upper part of the pectoralis major. But there is a significant portion of the pectoralis major that is simply missing. He is normal on his left side. His sternum is somewhat crooked, presumably as a result of the muscle imbalance. It is the crooked sternum that most concerns me. This is becoming more noticable as he gets older. He is an athletic boy and he takes part in several sports. I am wondering if there would be any benefit to building up the pectoral muscles that are present on his right side. Could this work towards pull the sternum back to its normal position? And if so, where can I go for help with this?


From a functional standpoint, if he is active and athletic, it sounds like his body is adequately compensating for the lack of a pectoral muscle.

Biomechanically, I am not certain if building up the pectoralis minor would really have much of an impact on bolstering his sternum. If this is truly a concern for you, you may want to have a biomechanical analysis of his gait and other movements performed; this is usually covered by insurance and allows folks to determine what muscles are making contributions as he performs activities.

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Response by:

Stephen J Page, PhD Stephen J Page, PhD
Director of Research, Associate Professor
Drake Center
University of Cincinnati