A normal spine, when viewed from
behind appears staright, However, a spine Affected by kyphosis shows evidence
of a forward curvature of the back bones (vertebrae) in the upper back area,
giving an abnormality rounded or “humpback” appearance.
Kyphosis is defined as a curvature
of the spine measuring 50 degrees or greater On an X-ray. The normal spine can
bend form 20 to 45 degrees of curvature in the upper back area. Kyphosis is a
type of spinal deformity.
What causes kyphosis?
Kyphosis can be conginetal or due to
acquired conditions that may include the following:
Osteogenesis imperfect (also called “brittle bone
disease”.) A condition
That causes bones to fracture with minimal force.
Scheuermann’s disease. A condition that causes that
vertebrae to curve
Forward in the upper back area. The cause of
scheuermann’s disease is unknown and is commonly seen in males.
Postural kyphosis. The most common type of kyphosis. It
generally becomes noticeable in adolescence and can be associated with
slouching Versus a spinal abnormality. Exercise is used to help correct
posture. Kyphosis is more common in female than males.
What are the symptoms of kyphosis?
The following are the most common
symptoms of kyphosis. However each Individual symptons differently. Symptoms
Difference in shoulder height.
The head bends forward to the rest of the body.
Difference in shoulder blade height or position.
When bending forward the height of the upper back
appears higher than normal.
Tight harmstrings (back thigh) muscles.
Back pain, pain down the legs, and
changes in bowel and bladder habits are not Commonly associated with kyphosis.
A person experiencing these types of symptoms requires further medical
How is kyphosis diagnosed?
Diagnostic procedures may include
X – rays is used to measure and evaluate the curve.
With the use of a full spine X-ray the angle of the spine curve can be
measured. A determination for treatment can often be made based on this
Radionuclide bone scan. A nuclear imaging technique
that uses a very small amount of radioactive material, which is injected
in to the patient’s Bloodstream to be detected by a scanner. This test
shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity with in the bone.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) . A diagnostic
procedure done to rule out any associated abnormalities of the spinal cord
Computed tornography scan (also called a CT or CAT
scan). CT scan shows Detailed images of any part of the body,including the
bones,muscles,fat and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general
Early detection of kyphosis is
important for successful treatment.
Treatment of kyphosis
The goal of treatment is to stop the
progression of the curve and minimize deformity. According to the scoliosis
research society, treatment may include:
Observation and repeated examinations. The child will
need observation and repeated examinations. Progression of the curve
depends on the amount of skeletal growth,or how skeletally mature,thi
child is. Curve progression shows down or stops after the child reaches
Bracing. If the child is still growing, the doctor may
prescribe a brace. The type of brace and the amount of time spent in the
brace will be determined by your doctor.
In rare instances , surgery is recommended when the curve measures 75
degrees or more on X-ray and bracing is not successful in slowing down the
progression of the curve.