(Roundback of the Spine; Congenital Kyphosis; Postural Kyphosis; Scheuermann’s Kyphosis; Hunchback)
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Kyphosis is an abnormal rounding or curve to the spine. A certain degree of normal curve is seen in the spine. The abnormal kyphosis occurs in the thoracic spine (along ribs). The three main types of kyphosis are:
- Postural kyphosis—the most common abnormal type and is caused by bad posture
- Congenital kyphosis—a type that is present at birth
- Scheuermann’s kyphosis—a severe type that is genetic, but appears during the teenage years
If you think you or your child may have this condition, contact your doctor. Treatments may need to be started at a young age.
Kyphosis can start at any age. It can have various causes, including:
Factors that can increase your chance of getting kyphosis include:
- Marfan syndrome or other tissue disease
- Condition that weakens bones, like osteoporosis
- Adolescence for postural or Scheuermann’s
- Elderly with osteoporosis and spine fractures
- Boys for Scheuermann’s kyphosis
- Girls for postural kyphosis
Tell your doctor if you have any of these:
- Excess curve or hump in the back
- Back pain
Most cases can be diagnosed during a physical exam. Some cases are found at school during a scoliosis check. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done to look for abnormal curve in the spine, rounded shoulders, and a hump on the back. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist in spine problems.
Your doctor may need pictures of your spine. This can be done with X-rays or other imaging tests.
Your doctor may need to measure how well you breathe. This can be done with pulmonary function tests.
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Options include the following: