Kyphosis is a spine abnormality where you develop a hunched back. If your back develops a painful hump, call a Coastal Spine office in Mount Laurel, Sewell, Galloway, Toms River, Vineland, or West Orange, New Jersey. The practice’s highly knowledgeable orthopedic specialists offer conservative kyphosis care and surgery if your condition is severe. Call Coastal Spine today or book an appointment online to learn what’s causing your kyphosis and how to stop your back from hurting.
What is kyphosis?
Kyphosis is an abnormal spine curve causing bowing or rounding. It gives people a permanently hunched-back or slouched posture. Kyphosis in teenagers, where spinal bones become wedged together, could be Scheuermann’s disease.
Kyphosis often develops because of chronic slouching when young, which shifts the position of your vertebrae (spinal bones). Other causes include:
In older people, particularly women, vertebral compression fractures caused by osteoporosis are the most common cause of kyphosis. Osteoporosis causes bones to lose their density, becoming weak and brittle. Fractures are common in people with osteoporosis, particularly in the hips and spine.
Vertebral compression fractures happen when osteoporosis causes the front of the vertebrae to collapse, creating a wedge shape. If you have several of these wedge-shaped vertebrae, they form what’s called a “dowager’s hump,” a common sign of advanced osteoporosis.
In addition to the hunched spinal appearance, kyphosis causes chronic fatigue (long-term tiredness and lack of energy) and back pain. You can experience tenderness and stiffness in your spine and, in severe cases, difficulty breathing.
Your Coastal Spine doctor completes a thorough physical exam to diagnose kyphosis. They measure your spine’s curve and could order X-rays or other forms of diagnostic imaging to assess the bones’ internal structures.
If the cause of your kyphosis isn’t clear, you’ll probably need to undergo other tests and procedures.
At Coastal Spine, kyphosis treatments can include:
In some cases (most often with children), the doctor will want to regularly check spine growth to determine if treatment is necessary.
A brace can prevent further curving in patients who are still growing.
Physical therapy is the leading treatment for strengthening your core (abdominal) and back muscles. It helps to reduce kyphosis pain.
Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are minimally invasive treatments for vertebral compression fractures. Vertebroplasty involves injecting bone cement into a collapsed vertebra. With kyphoplasty, your doctor inserts a balloon into the vertebra first. They inflate it to increase height before injecting the bone cement.
Patients with severe pain or extreme spinal curvature might benefit from spine fusion surgery to fix the spine’s shape.
Call Coastal Spine today or book an appointment online to benefit from specialized kyphosis treatment.