A kyphosis in the thoracic spine can make you more round-shouldered and unable to stand up straight. Patients usually suffer from bony abnormalities, disc infections, fractures etc. There may also be pain from the discs. A kyphosis in the lower back or neck is often associated with severe pain or aching. Another reason leading to kyphosis could be the Scheurmann&rsquos disorder which is caused by a severe inflammation of the discs at a younger age tending to narrow the discs and the bones to take a wedge shape resulting in kyphosis. There might also be another reason patients suffer from kyphosis that of the Hurler&rsquos syndrome.
Some common symptoms of kyphosis are the difficulty of the patient to have a fully straight position of their back, increased round-shouldered appearance, and severe pain.
Kyphosis should be treated if there is severe pain, and pain persists not allowing the patient to continue with his everyday activities and his participation in athletics. The procedure, again, the surgeon will follow in order to detect the problem and its degree of severity is to primarily take a thorough medical history of the patient. He will also examine the different parts of his body such as the back and its shape, and the arms and legs to test if the spinal cord is working properly. Then x-rays are being requested. These are necessary to see if there is a kyphosis and how bad it is. The Spine Surgeon will measure the angle of the kyphosis on the x - ray (Cobb angle). There are cases where an MRI may also be asked so that the practitioner has a more thorough image of the problem.
One method used to treat mild types of kyphosis is bracing. Although patients must wear braces for up to 23 hours a day, and since they are rigid enough, doctors do not recommend this method, as they feel that most patients would not wear a brace for the amount of time needed to heal their kyphosis problem. Therefore, the most common solution is operation. An operation which by using rods and screws along with some form of bone graft the practitioner tries to improve the shape of your spine, straighten it as much as possible, and allow it not to deteriorate or lose its shape again in the future. The aim of the operation is to stop things worsening and to hopefully improve your appearance. Your Spine Surgeon will talk to you about the risks and benefits of this type of an operation to you.