Kyphosis or curvature of your spine is a serious and debilitating spinal condition. It can appear early in life, during the teenage years or much later in life. While you can watch your posture and do proper stretching and strengthening exercises, you can’t always prevent this condition. Visit the spine specialists at Premier Brain & Spine, New Jersey’s top spine and pain center, for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment to arrest the development of your spinal curving. If necessary, spinal surgery may be necessary to allow you live a life free of back pain. Call today for a consultation and exam.
Kyphosis, also known as roundback or hunchback in severe cases, can develop at any age, but it’s mostly commonly in aging women and teenaged boys. Kyphosis is a forward-rounding of your mid-to-upper back. Most cases of kyphosis are mild, but some of the more severe cases can cause symptoms that include:
During the development of the condition, the bones of your spine become weak, causing compression or cracking. Newborns may develop kyphosis as a birth defect. Annual physicals from birth allow your doctor to catch the condition early, which makes treatment easier, as the condition often worsens over time, even if pain isn’t present.
If you’re experiencing roundback or hunchback, get diagnosed for kyphosis by an expert spine specialist like those at Premier Brain & Spine, New Jersey’s top spine care center. They have offices in Bayonne, Edison, Freehold, Hackensack, Paterson, Rutherford, Union, West Orange, and West Caldwell, along with one location in NY in Goshen. You need an accurate diagnosis before you can get treated.
There are four different types of kyphosis, based on when it strikes and who gets it. The four types include:
Congenital kyphosis is diagnosed in vitro and occurs when vertebrae fuse together in the womb. Corrective spine surgery is required after birth to stop the progression. Kyphosis can affect other organs, so corrective surgeries for infants are not always possible.
Postural kyphosis in adolescents is from poor posture or slouching. Corrective behaviors are often enough to prevent future issues. Scheuermann’s kyphosis can be very painful because it is angular and rigid. The condition is irreparable, but stops progressing after the last growth spurt. Hyperkyphosis requires targeted treatment, including surgery.
Other than mild pain, early kyphosis may not be noticeable. But other symptoms in your body may indicate the condition. These include:
Symptoms of kyphosis can also include social behaviors, which are more difficult to diagnose. Be aware of such as signs of self-isolation for an older person, body image issues in teens and avoidance of group or public activities that require physical movement.
Your spine naturally has curvature, but a curve of more than 45 degrees is a sign of abnormal curvature. In addition to the more obvious symptoms, a top spine expert at Premier Brain & Spine can use diagnostic tests to identify the condition, such as:
Your spine specialist typically diagnoses kyphosis in teens while examining the physical presence of a hump or curve. The doctor collects medical history information, including current overall health. If symptoms of kyphosis are detected, the best New Jersey orthopedics physician:
In determining treatment options, a top spine surgeon considers many factors, including:
If you have postural kyphosis, your doctor may recommend non-surgical treatments, such as specific exercises, physical therapy to strengthen back and abdominal muscles or anti-inflammatory medications. For children suffering from kyphosis, the spine expert may recommend a back brace that you adjust over time to straighten the roundback until the child is fully grown.
The same non-surgical treatments may be effective for you if you have Scheuermann’s kyphosis, but only if your spinal curve is less than 70 degrees. Otherwise, surgery, such as a kyphoplasty procedure, may be the best solution. If the abnormal curve is in the lower back and it’s greater than 25 degrees, a spinal fusion surgery may be necessary. Congenital kyphosis almost always requires surgery, when it’s possible.
A spinal fusion is a type of spinal reconstructive surgery that lessens the spinal curve, preventing it from progressing further, alleviating back pain after a full recovery and sustaining improvement over time. The purpose of a spinal fusion is to weld affected vertebrae together, so the bone behaves as if it were a single vertebra.
During a spinal fusion, metal screws and rods position the vertebrae into at least a 50 percent improvement in the curve. Then bone grafts are put in the area between the vertebrae to seal the fusion and heal together as a single bone. The fewer vertebrae needing alignment, the more mobility the surgery provides after a full recovery. If there are several places in the spine needing fusion, the procedure limits some physical movements, such as:
Premier Brain & Spine, the best NJ spine center, has ten locations in northern New Jersey and New York. Its experienced, board certified surgeons have successfully treated thousands of patients with kyphosis. Their aim is to treat the causes of your spinal curvature and prevent further spinal complications. Schedule a consultation today.