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Scheuerman’s Kyphosis: Description and Treatment Options - Spine Center of Texas
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Scheuerman’s Kyphosis: Description and Treatment Options

Scheuerman’s Kyphosis is a type of condition that occurs when there too much forward curve in the spine. The disorder is most often seen in the mid-back, but can also present in the lower back. Scheuerman’s Kyphosis begins before the onset of puberty and happens during times of bone growth because areas of the vertebrae itself are not all growing at an equal rate. The result is triangle-shaped vertebrae instead of rectangle-shaped vertebrae, which leads to the vertebral segments aligning vertically like a forward-leaning tower. Scheuerman’s Kyphosis frequently occurs in conjunction with scoliosis and is treatable with non-surgical methods, except in extreme cases.

The exact cause of Scheuerman’s Kyphosis is a mystery but is thought by experts to be due to an abnormality in vertebral growth. The problem seems to be genetic and is affected by height and weight. It is a primary cause of back pain in adolescents.

Symptoms of Scheuerman’s Kyphosis include:

  • Poor Posture
  • Fatigue
  • Mid-back pain
  • Rigid spinal curve that is worse with forwarding bending
  • Chest pain or difficulty breathing in rare cases when the condition is severe.

The diagnosis of Scheuerman’s Kyphosis takes place during a physician’s medical examination that includes manual testing. A front and back full-body X-ray is also performed to determine the extent of the curve.

The treatment plan for Scheuerman’s Kyphosis depends on the individual’s age, the angle of the curve, and existence of neurological problems. The first stage consists of observation with annual physician exams and encouragement to participate in exercise strengthening spinal extension muscles, as well as stretching and cardiovascular activity. Bracing is used when necessary, with the apparatus worn 16—24 hours a day for up to one year. Physical Therapy helps to increase flexibility and range of motion in the hamstrings and back, and improve posture. Surgery is needed when the individual’s outward curve is equal to or greater than 70 degrees. A rear approach is used to remove damaged discs, release tension on tight ligaments, and install hardware to straighten the spine. It is important for young people with Scheuerman’s Kyphosis to have medical attention promptly due to the emotional health effects stemming from the physical appearance of the condition.

If you or a family member are experiencing the symptoms of Scheuerman’s Kyphosis and would like to schedule a consultation to explore treatment options, please call us at our New Braunfels or Seguin offices.