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- Patient Comments: Kyphosis - Treatments
- Patient Comments: Kyphosis - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Kyphosis - Causes and Types
- Patient Comments: Kyphosis - Tests
- Patient Comments: Kyphosis - Therapy and Prognosis
- Find a local Orthopedic Surgeon in your town
- Kyphosis facts
- What is kyphosis?
- What are the symptoms of kyphosis?
- What causes abnormal kyphosis? What are the types of kyphosis?
- When should you seek medical attention?
- What tests is your physician likely to obtain?
- How is abnormal kyphosis treated?
- What are the potential complications of surgery for kyphosis?
- What ongoing care is required for patients with kyphosis?
- How can I prevent kyphosis?
- What is the prognosis for kyphosis?
- There are three main types of kyphosis: postural, Scheuermann's, and congenital.
- Most cases of kyphosis do not require any treatment.
- Physical therapy and exercise are often effective in postural and Scheuermann's kyphosis.
- Surgery is recommended for congenital kyphosis and more severe cases of Scheuermann's kyphosis.
What is kyphosis?
The spine has a series of normal curves when viewed from the side. These curves help to better absorb the loads applied to the spine from the weight of the body. The cervical spine (neck) and lumbar spine (lower back) are have a normal inward curvature that is medically referred to as lordosisor "lordotic" curvature by which the spine is bent backward. The thoracic spine (upper back) has a normal outward curvature that is medically referred to as kyphosis or the "kyphotic" curve by which the spine is bent forward. In this discussion, the term kyphosis will be used to discuss abnormal kyphosis.
The spine is normally straight when looking from the front. An abnormal curve when viewed from the front is called scoliosis. Scoliosis can occur from bony abnormalities of the spine at birth, growth abnormalities especially with adolescence, degenerative spinal changes in adulthood, or abnormal twisting of the vertebrae because of muscle spasm after an injury.
The normal curves of the spine allow the head to be balanced directly over the pelvis. If one or more of these curves is either too great or too small, the head may not be properly balanced over the pelvis. This can lead to back pain, stiffness, and an altered gait or walking pattern.