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Deformities of the sternum (breastbone) are usually congenital. They fall into two types: a keel breastbone that protrudes out in a V-shape, and a condition in which the breastbone is sunken into the chest (pectus excavatum). These deformities are usually only cosmetic and are often not surgically corrected, however, in cases of severe restriction of normal respiratory movements or if the patient suffers severe psychological distress about the deformity, surgical correction is warranted.