Scheuermann's Disease

Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis is a pathological condition of the vertebral column of the body. This disease generally affects the thoracolumbar spine resulting in poor posture, increased severity of kyphosis, and significant back pain.

What is Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis?

Scheuermann's Disease

Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis occurs when the front portion of the upper part of spine does not develop as much as the back part of the spine giving the vertebra a wedge shape. Due to this wedge shape of the vertebra the normal kyphotic angle increases thus making the affected individual severely kyphotic.

What are the Causes of Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis?

The exact cause of Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis is still not known but is believed to be due to a growth abnormality in the vertebral body in which the growth plate stops growing anteriorly but continues to grow posteriorly. This basically is due to a medical condition called osteochondrosis. Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis is a medical condition that usually arises in the growing years of an individual. Scheuermann's Disease is more common in men than women.

What are Some of the Symptoms of Scheuermann's Disease?

Some Of The Symptoms Of Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis Are:

  • Poor posture
  • Increased severity of kyphosis
  • Severe back pain with activity is a common symptom of Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis
  • In rare cases, there may be presence of some neurological or cardiopulmonary symptoms associated with Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis.

How is Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis Diagnosed?

Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis can be suspected if an individual has a kyphotic angle of more than 40 degrees. This kyphotic deformity is usually progressive. This can be best viewed when the individual is in a forward flexed position. Spine will have restricted range of motion. Palpation of the apex of the kyphosis will reveal areas of tenderness. In some cases, neurological examination will reveal certain positive neurological signs, although it is very rare. A confirmatory diagnosis of Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis is made through a standing, AP and lateral, x-ray. This will reveal wedge-shaped vertebral bodies, increased kyphotic angle, narrowed intervertebral spaces, and presence of Schmorl's nodes.

What are Treatments for Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis?

The treatment of Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis is a matter of debate in which some researchers believe that treatment is not required as it is a benign condition whereas some are of the opinion that treatment should be given to those individuals who are immature musculoskeletal-wise to prevent further deformity and relieve pain symptoms. The treatment that can be given for Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis is avoidance of strenuous activity as a mode of pain relief. Physical therapy for strengthening exercises can also be beneficial treatment for Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis. Careful monitoring with regular x-ray and followups is essential to manage Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis. NSAIDs for pain relief can be given. In severe forms of Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis, lumbar braces may be required. Surgical treatment option for Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis is taken into consideration only in cases of positive neurological examinations or the deformity is significant enough so as to cause severe discomfort for the affected individual.

What is the Prognosis of Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis?

The extent of the symptoms experienced by the person suffering from Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis depends on the severity of the disease process which means that an individual with a mild form of Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis will have fewer symptoms when compared to an individual who has a severe form Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis. Bracing is required only for individuals with severe form of Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis. In some rare cases of Scheuermann's Disease, there may be neurological or cardiopulmonary complications.

What are the Complications of Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis?

Some of the Possible Complications of Scheuermann's Disease or Scheuermann's Kyphosis are:

  • Chronic severe back pain
  • Progressive deformity
  • Neurological deficits
  • Cardiopulmonary difficulties.

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Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: May 16, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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