Orthopedic Treatment For Kyphosis

Commonly known as Hunching Back or Dowager’s Hump, Kyphosis refers to the development of an abnormal outward curvature of the spine. A normal human spine has a slightly rounded structure but in some cases, the rounding may get exaggerated causing disfigurement and other spine related problems. Kyphosis may occur at any age irrespective of the gender. However, it mostly affects women in their post-menopausal stages as they lose bone mass rapidly. Break or compression of any part of the vertebrae alters the spinal curvature. This creates a visibly exaggerated curve or a hunch back.

Causes

  • Osteoporosis
  • Congenital defects
  • Spinal degeneration
  • Neuromuscular disorders such as cerebral palsy
  • Diet lacking in Vitamin D and calcium leads to loss of bone mass
  • Poor postural habits can cause Kyphosis
  • Past injuries
  • Scheuermann’s Disease that particularly affects adolescents may be a cause
  • Decompressive spinal surgeries may lead to Iatrogenic Kyphosis

Symptoms

  • An abnormally curved back is the most prominent symptom
  • Stiffness and pain may be felt while performing daily routine tasks
  • The patient is generally fatigued as the spine does not provide adequate support
  • There may be visible loss of height
  • The patient is unable to stand straight
  • Some people develop breathing problem as the lungs may be constricted
  • Altered gait
  • There may be a loss of appetite as the abdominal cavity is affected and the organs are compressed

Diagnosis

  • X-ray imaging may be recommended to identify the exact location of damaged vertebrae
  • Thorough clinical examination of the existing symptoms, past medical records and injuries if any
  • MRI and CT scan may reveal soft tissue damage and the degenerated discs

Treatment

  • Pain killers, muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medicines may be prescribed
  • A back brace may be recommended for additional support to the spine
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the supporting muscles and improve posture as well as flexibility
  • Spinal infections may require antibiotics
  • Rest is highly recommended and the patient is advised to abstain from stressful activities

Surgical procedures may include the following:

  • Osteotomy- Removal of degenerated vertebrae and discs
  • Surgical decompression: This procedure is done to relieve the pressure on the nerves between the vertebrae that may have been pinched
  • Spinal Fusion: Some vertebrae may be fused together to increase spinal stability. This may require fixation using metal screws and wires
  • Balloon Kyphoplasty- A special balloon kind of instrument is used to inflate the collapsed vertebrae in case of compression fractures. This may help to regain the height of the spinal column

We at OrthoTexas provide complete diagnosis and treatment for Kyphosis. To schedule an appointment with the spine surgeons in Allen, call at (972) 727-9995.

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