An outward curve in the top of your spine is perfectly normal, but it can cause pain and other problems if the curvature becomes too extreme. This condition is called kyphosis. If you have kyphosis, experienced surgeons Steve Paragioudakis, MD, and Marc Menkowitz, MD at the Center for the Functional Restoration of the Spine can help. They offer cutting edge treatments, including vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty, and spinal fusion to correct kyphosis. Find out more by calling the Shrewsbury, Toms River, or Edison, New Jersey, office or book an appointment online today.
Kyphosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine. Your spine is supposed to curve in and out as it goes down your back to ensure your body is balanced, and everything lines up correctly. Curves that go outward are kyphotic; curves that go inward are lordotic.
If you have kyphosis, it means your spine curves excessively outward. A normal kyphotic curve is somewhere between 20 and 50 degrees. Anything over 50 degrees would be kyphosis.
There are several forms of kyphosis which can affect both children and adults:
Postural kyphosis is the most common kind of kyphosis. Poor posture – constantly slouching and letting your shoulders slump – can stretch the ligaments and change the way your vertebrae develop. It usually affects adolescents but doesn't typically cause problems.
This form of kyphosis tends to affect teenage boys. It causes a sharp but short curvature in the middle of your upper spine that can result in aching back pain. It's common for young people with Scheuermann's kyphosis to have a mild degree of scoliosis as well.
Congenital kyphosis develops if the spinal column doesn't form correctly when a baby is in the womb. Vertebrae might fuse, or the bones fail to grow as they should. Congenital kyphosis can worsen as the child grows.
Osteoporosis, which can cause vertebral compression fractures in your spine, is a common cause of kyphosis. Other conditions that can contribute to adult kyphosis include:
If your kyphosis is mild, it might not cause any symptoms at all. Severe kyphosis may cause chronic pain and put pressure on your organs and nerves.
Treatment for kyphosis depends on factors such as your age, physical health, the cause of your kyphosis, how severe it is, and the outlook if your condition goes untreated.
The team at the Center for the Functional Restoration of the Spine initially uses non-surgical options like medication, physical therapy, and bracing. If these aren't successful, you may require an intervention to correct the curvature.
If your kyphosis is due to vertebral compression fractures, then vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are potential solutions. Both treatments involve injecting bone cement into the damaged vertebrae to reinforce the bone and stabilize your spine.
With kyphoplasty, your provider at the Center for the Functional Restoration of the Spine first inflates a balloon within the bone to raise the height of the damaged vertebra.
Surgical treatment is usually only necessary if you have severe kyphosis or non-surgical therapies that aren't providing sufficient symptom relief after a reasonable length of time.
Surgery for kyphosis consists of curvature correction using spinal instrumentation, followed by fusion of the affected vertebrae.
If you're experiencing problems with pain and stiffness due to kyphosis, call Center for the Functional Restoration of the Spine today, or book an appointment online.