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East Tennessee clinic uses technology to fix ‘pigeon chest’

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — In an exam room at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, all eyes were on 14-year-old Tinsley Allen as he became the first patient in Tennessee and one of the first in the nation to be fitted with a South American medical device.

But Tinsley’s eyes were on his future: eight months to a year from now, when he should be able to take off his shirt to swim without people staring at him.

Since he was about 2 years old, Tinsley has had pectus carinatum, more commonly known as “pigeon chest.” His rib and breastbone stick out from his chest wall, giving him a pointy protrusion, like a bird’s.

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