What is Scheuermann’s Kyphosis? What Are Your Kyphosis Treatment Options?
Kyphosis, also known as Scheuermann’s Disease or Scheuermann’s Kyphosis, affects the sagittal plane, or side view (see illustration) of the spine. The normal thoracic spine (upper spine) should have a gentle rounding behind the shoulders. Typical cases of thoracic kyphosis include curves from 20° to 40° when viewed from the side. Once the curve progresses beyond those degrees, kyphosis is considered to be present. Most patients discover Kyphosis after they receive comments about their poor posture. However, x-rays provide the best diagnosis and allow for measurement of the degrees of curve.
Kyphosis treatment options depend on the patient’s age, the degree of the curve and symptoms the patient may be experiencing. Our doctors specialize in treating kyphosis with the SpineCor Brace. We have seen excellent results in both children and adults. In children who have reasonable spinal flexibility and much growing to do (typically ages 9-14), the SpineCor Brace can provide several degrees of correction, or stop the progression through significant growth. For adults, correction can only be slight. However, the brace can halt curve progression due to spinal degeneration and provide improved posture and pain reduction.
Spine surgery for kyphosis is usually advised only when curves have progressed beyond 80°. If Kyphosis has affected the mid-spine at more than 60° to 70° of kyphosis, surgery might be advised, as well. Other symptoms requiring surgery could include unusual vertebral compaction or severe back pain caused by kyphosis.
Remember that surgery carries multiple risks for complications and even the need for multiple surgeries. Therefore, it should remain the last resort. If you or your loved one is diagnosed with Kyphosis or Sheuermann’s Disease, or with scoliosis, and the spine specialists tells you to “wait and see,” contact us, immediately. By waiting, the doctor could be ensuring that the patient will require surgery when it could have been avoided by the using the SpineCor Brace.
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