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What is Kyphosis?

Kyphosis is a curving of the spine that causes a bowing of the back. It leads to a hunchback or slouching posture. Kyphosis can occur at any age.

Kyphosis is also called Scheuermann's disease, adolescent kyphosis, roundback, hunchback, and postural kyphosis.

What Causes Kyphosis?

Kyphosis can be caused by trauma, developmental problems, or degenerative disease. Some specific cause of kyphosis are:

Kyphosis can also be seen in association with scoliosis. Risk factors are related to the causes.

Adolescent kyphosis is caused by the wedging together of several consecutive bones of the spine.

In adults, kyphosis can be a result of fractures caused by osteoporosis, arthritis, or slipping of one vertebra forward on another.

Symptoms of Kyphosis

The most common symptoms of kyphosis are:

  • Mild back pain
  • Fatigue
  • Tenderness and stiffness in the spine
  • Round back appearance
  • Difficulty breathing

How is Kyphosis Detected?

Kyphosis can be detected by physical examination by a doctor and an X-ray. The doctor will look for an abnormal curvature of the spine and weakness, paralysis, or changes in sensation below the level of the curve.

Can Kyphosis be Treated?

Treatment options will depend on the cause. Surgery, medication and physical therapy are the usually options. If kyphosis is caused by osteoporosis, the osteoporosis needs to be treated.

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