Scheuermann's disease; Roundback; Hunchback; Postural kyphosis
Treatment depends on the cause of the disorder:
- Congenital kyphosis requires corrective surgery at an early age.
- Scheuermann's disease is treated with a brace and physical therapy. Occasionally surgery is needed for large (greater than 60 degrees), painful curves.
- Multiple compression fractures from osteoporosis can be left alone if there are no nervous system problems or pain. However, the osteoporosis needs to be treated to help prevent future fractures. For debilitating deformity or pain, surgery is an option.
- Kyphosis caused by infection or tumor needs to be treated more aggressively, often with surgery and medications.
Treatment for other types of kyphosis depends on the cause. Surgery may be necessary if neurological symptoms or persistent pain develop.
Adolescents with Scheuermann's disease tend to do well even if they need surgery, and the disease stops once they stop growing. If the kyphosis is due to
- Decreased lung capacity
- Disabling back pain
- Neurological symptoms including leg weakness or paralysis
- Round back deformity
Calling your health care provider
Review Date: 07/28/2010
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.