Pectus Excavatum is a condition where the bones of the sternum and ribs
grow inward, creating a sunken area of the chest. This can interfere with the
ability of the heart and lungs to properly function.
In very rare cases, however, Pectus Excavatum can be caused by trauma to
the chest. Most traumatic cases of Pectus Excavatum can be treated and
corrected with surgeries.
Assigning a Military Disability Rating
to a traumatic Pectus Excavatum
condition can be tricky. Ultimately, the condition itself is not rated, but the
effects of the condition.
Because of this, the VASRD
does not give a code for Pectus Excavatum.
Instead, it must be rated analogously
on the symptoms it causes.
The most common ratable symptom of Pectus Excavatum is decreased lung
function. If the condition affects the lungs, then it is rated under code 6842
If it affects the heart, then it is rated under the heart code that most closely describes the heart's
If it affects both the heart and the lungs, it can be given two ratings,
one for each.
If it doesn't affect the heart or the lungs, then it can be given a
single rating under code 5297 for the ribs. The ribs can only be rated if
neither the heart nor lungs are rated.