Kyphosis is a deformity of the spine where the curve of the upper back is excessively pronounced, creating a hump or “hunchback.” The term kyphosis also describes the natural outward curvature of the spine in the upper back region. An excessive curve in this area is technically called hyperkyphosis, but in both medical and lay speech is routinely referred to simply as kyphosis.
Types of Kyphosis
There are three different types of kyphosis.
Postural kyphosis is the most common and is not associated with structural deformities in the spinal column. It usually becomes apparent during adolescence in the form of poor posture or “slouching.” With postural kyphosis, the rounding of the back generally resolves when the child is asked to “stand up straight.” It is more common in girls than boys, and does not typically cause pain or problems into adulthood.
Scheuermann’s kyphosis is defined by a sharper, more angular curve in the upper back. X-rays will show that the vertebrae, rather than being rectangular in shape, are more triangular, causing them to wedge together, creating the deformity.
Congenital kyphosis is present from birth due to improper development of the spine. It often worsens over time as the child grows.
Treatment for Kyphosis
In cases of postural kyphosis, Dr. Baig may choose to simply monitor your child over time as they work on practicing good posture. Periodic x-rays may be taken to ensure the condition isn’t worsening.
In severe cases, spinal fusion surgery may be necessary to correct the deformity caused by kyphosis. Dr. Baig is skilled and experienced in many types of spinal fusion surgery, including minimally invasive techniques. Dr. Baig will only perform spinal fusion surgery for kyphosis if he is certain your child will benefit from it.