Medical Definition of Postmenopausal cervical kyphosis

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Postmenopausal cervical kyphosis: 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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