Kyphosis & Scoliosis

Kyphosis is defined as the backward bending of the spine. The normal range for kyphosis is a curve of 30-40 degrees

Increased kyphosis is most often the result of poor posture and not by structural changes in the spine. Postural kyphosis can be distinguished from Scheuermann’s kyphosis by the fact that the increased curvature.e resolves when the patient lies down. When this natural curve (primarily in the thoracic or mid back area) is increased and there are specific structural changes in the vertebrae this curvature may be diagnosed as Scheuermann’s Kyphosis.

What causes kyphosis?
As with other curvatures of the spine, the cause of this curvature is unknown. In some cases there may be a familial occurrence.

How is kyphosis detected?
This disorder can be detected by the visible presence of deformity, aching back pain or increased lumbar lordosis (swayback). The diagnosis is confirmed by obtaining an x-ray

Scheuermann’s kyphosis can be treated with a Milwaukee brace if the child is still growing and has not reached skeletal maturity. Most often, surgery is the treatment. The surgery always includes a fusion with spinal instrumentation (rods and screws or hooks) to correct the deformity and stabilize the spine.

Surgery typically includes two steps:

  • Front/Anterior approach to release the tightened ligament, remove the discs and insert bone grafts;
  • Back/Posterior approach to place rods and screws to hold the spine straight during bone fusion.

For many adults, the treatment usually includes anti-inflammatory drugs, observation and possibly surgery, depending on the symptoms.


Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine. A condition known as idiopathic (cause unknown) scoliosis is most common in young adolescent females though it also occurs in boys. This form of scoliosis sometimes progresses slowly and may not be detected until a person is an adult. Scoliosis has a genetic component and frequently runs in families. Certain neuromuscular disorders such as muscular dystrophy can also cause scoliosis. Additionally asymmetric degeneration of the discs between vertebrae can cause scoliosis, particularly in adults.