Adolescent Kyphosis is the abnormal arching in a teenager which over the years increases regardless of how active he is.
An increase in thoracic kyphosis over 40° implies an increase in lumbar lordosis and an eradication of the lordosis of the neck. This happens purely for mechanical reasons of support and balance.
The Scheuermann disease, otherwise known as Osteochondritis of the Spine, is met in the largest percentage of juvenile kyphosis cases visiting a Spine Center;
it is a condition that seems to have genetic causes, but it is still not known how it intervenes with the epiphyseal plates, slowing down their development, especially on their frontal part.
There are few the nonstructural Kyphosis that are due to a weak muscle extensor mechanism in a child. A special digital x-ray, however, is needed, along with special vertebra measurement tools, since many times the damage is of small extent or the patient is in childhood.
How it occurs?
The clinical image of Kyphosis is characteristic, with an intense curving in the upright– lateral position, with curved shoulders, an outstretched head with a straightened neck and intense lordosis.
When the body bends forward, an intense acuminate hump is formed, this is not corrected if we place our hand on it and instruct the child to raise his back.
Its classical version is the image of three consecutive vertebrae displaying anomalies on the frontal surfaces of the epiphyseal plates, thus delaying normal development of the vertebrae bodies.
The damage may be of the same degree, but it may also be different. In atypical forms, we can have between 1 and 6 vertebrae affected.
The height is usually around the middle of the thorax spine, followed by the lower thorax spine, and in some cases the lumbar vertebrae are included, creating a straightening of the lumbar lordosis.
The increased pressure by the weight of the body on the already problematic epiphyses of the pathological vertebrae aggravates the problem. If pressure is continued on the epiphyses, this will reduce the height of their final configuration and will give them a wedged deformation.
Can be cured?
Almost 100% if detected in the early stage of rapid growth. The treatment for Scheuermann type kyphosis is mainly based on the hyper-extension brace, and secondarily on exercises.
The target of the treatment of a Scheuermann type Kyphosis with a brace, is to decompress the frontal parts of the vertebra bodies and in this way allow the epiphyses to generate adequate bone so as to eradicate the wedged deformation.