Kyphosis

Alternative Names

Scheuermann’s disease; Roundback; Hunchback; Postural kyphosis

Definition of Kyphosis

Kyphosis is a curving of the spine that causes a bowing or rounding of the back, which leads to a hunchback or slouching posture.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Kyphosis can occur at any age, although it is rare at birth.

Signs and tests

Physical examination by a health care provider confirms the abnormal curve of the spine. The doctor will also look for any nervous system (neurological) changes (weakness, paralysis, or changes in sensation) below the curve.

Treatment

Treatment depends on the cause of the disorder:

Expectations (prognosis)

Adolescents with Scheuermann’s disease tend to do well even if they need surgery, and the disease stops once they stop growing. If the kyphosis is due to degenerative joint disease or multiple compression fractures, surgery is needed to correct the defect and improve pain.

Review

Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 7/28/2010

Skeletal spine
Kyphosis

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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