Cervical Kyphosis is pathological condition involving the cervical spine characterized by an abnormal curvature of the spine. Under normal circumstances, the cervical spine is in the form of the letter “C” with the outward portion of the letter curving in the back portion of the spine; however in some cases the opposite happens and the outward portion of the letter “C” protrudes in front part of the spine. This gives the neck an abnormal shape as if the individual is standing in an “attention” position. This is what is termed as Cervical Kyphosis. This condition is also known by the name of “Military Neck.”
The primary presenting features of Cervical Kyphosis are quite variable and depend on the severity of the condition. However, in all cases there will be a visible change in the shape of the neck. The affected individual will not be able to move the neck in a normal fashion. Neck pain is yet another feature of Cervical Kyphosis. There will also be resultant weakness in the grip as a result of this condition. Some individuals may also feel numbness and tingling in the upper extremities due to Cervical Kyphosis.
Can You Treat Cervical Kyphosis?
If Cervical Kyphosis is diagnosed early then it is a condition that can be completely cured. For congenital kyphosis, early intervention by way of surgery provides the best outcome and also prevent of slowdown the progression of the curve.
The treatment options for Cervical Kyphosis includes both surgical and conservative. The treatment options for Cervical Kyphosis depend significantly on the extent and severity of the condition. Conservative treatment for cervical kyphosis are administered in cases where there is primarily neck pain and the affected individual is concerned about the cosmetic appearance.
Nonsurgical measures to treat cervical kyphosis include physical therapy to correct the deformity, a neck brace, and pain medications to control the pain. Surgery is reserved in cases where there is nerve compression as a result of the abnormal curvature of the cervical spine. The surgery needs to be done on an emergent basis to prevent any complications arising out of Cervical Kyphosis.
Spinal fusion is the most preferred surgery to treat Cervical Kyphosis. This surgery is combined with segmental instrumentation. This surgical treatment for cervical kyphosis involves using metal rods and screws to hold the neck in its normal anatomical position. The reason for this surgery being done on an emergent basis is due to the neurological problems that arise as a result of spinal compression due to Cervical Kyphosis.
In cases where there is a fixed deformity and there are no neurological symptoms experienced by the patient then no surgery is recommended unless there is worsening of Cervical Kyphosis.
In cases where the deformity is progressive then surgery is the route recommended to prevent further worsening of cervical kyphosis. The type of surgery will depend on the overall progression of the deformity, the severity of the deformity, and the pain that it causes.
Physical Therapy is a must for individuals with Cervical Kyphosis whether they have undergone a surgery or not for Cervical Kyphosis. A physical therapist will design neck specific exercises to prevent any further injuries to the neck which can arise due to Cervical Kyphosis.