Kyphosis, also known as roundback, is an anteroposterior curving of the spine that causes a bowing of the back, commonly at the thoracic, but sometimes at the thoracolumbar or sacral, level.
Normally, the spine displays some convexity, but excessive thoracic kyphosis is pathologic. Kyphosis occurs in children and adults.
Congenital kyphosis is rare but usually severe, with resultant cosmetic deformity and reduced pulmonary function.
Also called Scheuermann’s disease, juvenile kyphosis, and vertebral epiphysitis, adolescent kyphosis is the most common form of this disorder. It may result from growth retardation or a vascular disturbance in the vertebral epiphysis (usually at the thoracic level) during periods of rapid growth or from congenital deficiency in the thickness of the vertebral plates.
Other causes include infection, inflammation, aseptic necrosis, and disk degeneration. The subsequent stress of weight bearing on the compromised vertebrae may result in the thoracic hump commonly seen in adolescents with kyphosis. Symptomatic adolescent kyphosis is more prevalent in girls than in boys and usually occurs between ages 12 and 16.
Also known as adult roundback, adult kyphosis may result from degeneration of intervertebral disks, atrophy, or osteoporotic collapse of the vertebrae that’s associated with aging; from an endocrine disorder, such as hyperparathyroidism or Cushing’s disease; or from prolonged steroid