Scheuremann’s kyphosis is sometimes referred to as Scheuremann’s
disease. Scheuremann’s kyphosis is a condition which
would result in having a rounded or hunched back. It is a
developmental disorder that causes the sufferer to walk leaning
forward. Lying on the back doesn’t help change its shape.
affects up to 8% of the population, and it is more common
in boys than girls. Scheuremann’s kyphosis mainly occurs
in the thoracic region of the spine, usually between the levels
of T7 and T9, this type of kyphosis usually presents itself
during adolescence and is caused by growth irregularities
of the spinal vertebrae.
As the vertebra are developing
a condition called osteochondrosis causes the anterior and
posterior (front and back) sides of the vertebrae to grow
at different speeds which results in the vertebrae developing
into wedge shapes.
The characteristic for Scheuremann’s
kyphosis is bending forward. How severe this is, depends on
person to person. It can be very slightly noticeable in some
and more in others. A great deal of pain is not usually experienced
by the sufferer even though there can be some discomfort.
Conditions such as arthritis are bought on by age, it is generally
then when the pain is experienced.
Doctor’s have to first
find out if any spinal curvature is due to bad posture by
itself, and not a developmental problem. After a thorough
and detailed physical examination, the diagnosis is usually
confirmed with the use of X-rays.
The choice of treatment a
doctor would recommend would be very different. If the person
suffering from this condition is young, has no pain and is
quite fit, usually strengthening exercises and regular monitoring
of the development of the condition is all that is needed.
Some doctors would recommend
their patients to try a back brace, as it is used to help
strengthen and straighten the spine. It is also very helpful
if young people use a back brace as it helps relieve the pressure
on the vertebrae which could let the growth differences somewhat
correct themselves, reducing the curvature.
There are disadvantages to
using the back brace in young people; it is all a matter of
obedience. It can be fairly uncomfortable at first to wear
and can take quite a few weeks getting used to it, as it has
to be worn for at least 16 to 20 hours a day. It can also
be awkward in using it in everyday activities and is noticeable
when worn too.
After other methods have been
tried and been unsuccessful then surgery is available to help
this condition. The type of surgery which is offered is called
spinal fusion, where two segments of bone are combined together
by using rods, cages and screws.
If the curvature is very severe,
if pain is becoming progressively worse and can not be controlled
by other methods or if neurological problems have arisen then
surgery is usually offered.
For those diagnosed with Scheuremann’s
kyphosis during the teenage years can find it most difficult.
It is suggested they take part in therapy, education and support
It is important to have leaflets
and information for patients as it is necessary for teenagers
to be fully informed and involved in making decisions about
their treatment. This way they will learn to cope with their
is a developmental disorder that is usually diagnosed in adolescents.
There are a variety of available treatments offered, but if
the patient is coping without any interference, then exercise
and mild pain relief will usually be adequate.