Orthopedic Treatment For Kyphosis

Commonly known as Hunching Back or Dowager’s Hump, Kyphosis refers to the development of abnormal outward curvature of the spine. A normal human spine has a slightly rounded structure but in some cases, the rounding may get exaggerated causing disfigurement and other spine-related problems. Kyphosis may occur at any age irrespective of gender. However, it mostly affects women in their post-menopausal stages as they lose bone mass rapidly. Break or compression of any part of the vertebrae alters the spinal curvature. This creates a visibly exaggerated curve or a hunch back.


  • Osteoporosis
  • Congenital defects
  • Spinal degeneration
  • Neuromuscular disorders such as cerebral palsy
  • Diet lacking in Vitamin D and calcium leads to loss of bone mass
  • Poor postural habits can cause Kyphosis
  • Past injuries
  • Scheuermann’s Disease that particularly affects adolescents may be a cause
  • Decompressive spinal surgeries may lead to Iatrogenic Kyphosis


  • An abnormally curved back is the most prominent symptom
  • Stiffness and pain may be felt while performing daily routine tasks
  • The patient is generally fatigued as the spine does not provide adequate support
  • There may be visible loss of height
  • The patient is unable to stand straight
  • Some people develop breathing problem as the lungs may be constricted
  • Altered gait
  • There may be a loss of appetite as the abdominal cavity is affected and the organs are compressed


  • X-ray imaging may be recommended to identify the exact location of damaged vertebrae
  • Thorough clinical examination of the existing symptoms, past medical records and injuries if any
  • MRI and CT scan may reveal soft tissue damage and the degenerated discs


  • Pain killers, muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medicines may be prescribed
  • A back brace may be recommended for additional support to the spine
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the supporting muscles and improve posture as well as flexibility
  • Spinal infections may require antibiotics
  • Rest is highly recommended and the patient is advised to abstain from stressful activities

Surgical procedures may include the following:

  • Osteotomy– Removal of degenerated vertebrae and discs
  • Surgical decompression: This procedure is done to relieve the pressure on the nerves between the vertebrae that may have been pinched
  • Spinal Fusion: Some vertebrae may be fused together to increase spinal stability. This may require fixation using metal screws and wires
  • Balloon Kyphoplasty– A special balloon kind of instrument is used to inflate the collapsed vertebrae in case of compression fractures. This may help to regain the height of the spinal column

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