The term ‘chest wall’ refers to the bones, muscles and associated structures of the chest including ribs, cartilages, and sternum, and the muscles attached to them. Surgery on the chest wall may be needed due to:
- Trauma, including fractures of the ribs or sternum
- Development of tumours, including those of the ribs, cartilages, sternum, muscles, or fat
- Congenital abnormalities, most commonly those of the sternum such as pectus excavatum
Alternatively, your surgeon may recommend non-surgical management including pain relief or physiotherapy, depending on the condition.
Surgery to repair or reconstruct abnormalities of the chest wall may involve implantation of artificial material, such as plates or screws to hold the ribs or sternum together, or a device to reposition the sternum (Nuss procedure).