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Kyphosis is a condition in which part of the spine curves too much, causing a rounding of the back. This results in slouched posture or a hunchback.
About 1 in 1,000 people have kyphosis.
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Patients can be seen by Texas Children's experts in Orthopedics.
Causes & Risk Factors
Kyphosis can develop at any age.
Risk factors include:
- Neuromuscular conditions
- Certain metabolic problems
- Spina bifida
- Congenital kyphosis that can affect a child at birth
Symptoms & Types
- A hump in the upper portion of the back
- Uneven shoulders
- The head leans forward past the rest of their body when standing.
- Tight hamstrings
- Hyper-kyphosis is an exaggerated hump in the upper portion of the back.
- Scheuermann kyphosis is a more serious form of the condition that is the result of deformities in the vertebrae. Children suffering from Scheuermann kyphosis will develop a curvature in the spine as they grow because the back portion of the vertebrae develops faster than the front portion.
- Congenital kyphosis is a birth defect seen in babies that is the result of misshaped vertebrae.
Diagnosis & TestsA physical exam, X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to diagnose this condition.
Treatment & CareTreatment depends on the severity of the kyphosis. Bracing is commonly used during a child's growing years to stop further curvature. In more severe cases of kyphosis, surgery may be recommended.
Living & Managing
Many patients do well without treatment. Others benefit from physical therapy or exercise. Even children with severe kyphosis usually are able to be active after treatment.