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Kyphosis

Overview | Causes | Symptoms| Diagnosis | Treatment | FAQS

Overview

Kyphosis is also known as “hunchback”. It is a condition of a curvature of the upper spine.

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Causes

Kyphosis can be caused by the result of a degenerative disease like arthritis, developmental problems, osteoporosis with compression fractures of the vertebrae and /or trauma.

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Symptoms

Symptoms of Kyphosis are similar to those of Scoliosis. They can include one or more of the following:

  • Uneven shoulders, chest, hips, shoulder blades, waist or a tendency to lean to one side.
  • Hunched over appearance
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing

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Diagnosis

Diagnosis can include any one or more of the following:

  • Physical examination
  • Obtaining a detailed medical history
  • X-rays
  • MRI
  • CT scan
  • Electrodiagnostics
  • Bone scan
  • Discography

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Treatment

Treatment for Kyphosis may include the use of a body brace (Orthosis), specialized physical therapy or in some cases surgery. A Kyphoplasty can be performed to arrest the deformity and relieve the pain. This procedure is a serious one and consists of fusion of the abnormal vertebrae.

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FAQs

Can Kyphosis be treated without surgery?

If your kyphosis is severe (a curve greater than 70°) your doctor may recommend surgery. He or she may also recommend surgery if your curve is progressing rapidly, your balance is affected, your nervous system is affected, or you have persistent pain.

What are options other than surgery for treatment of Kyphosis?

There are several options for treating Kyphosis besides surgery. They are:

  • bed rest
  • prescription or over-the-counter medications
  • physical therapy
  • wearing a special brace

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