Medical Definition of Kyphosis, postmenopausal cervical

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Kyphosis, postmenopausal cervical: An outward curvature (kyphosis) of the cervical vertebrae (the bones of the neck), creating a hump at the back of the neck.

This condition, once thought to be a characteristic deformity of older women, was called a dowager's hump. A dowager was a woman of high social rank whose husband was dead but who had a title (such as duchess) and property because of her marriage to him.

Postmenopausal cervical kyphosis is due to osteoporotic changes in the cervical spine. It may affect men or women. Like most osteoporotic changes, the condition is often preventable.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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