What is kyphosis in children? — Kyphosis is the medical term for a curving of the upper back. A normal backbone, also called the “spine,” has a slight curve. In a child with kyphosis, the upper part of the spine curves more than normal, causing a rounded or hunched back .
What causes kyphosis in children? — Kyphosis in children is caused by problems with the vertebrae. Vertebrae are the bones of the spine that sit on top of one another like a stack of coins. The main types of kyphosis include:
●Congenital kyphosis – In this condition, a baby is born with kyphosis. This happens because of a problem with the vertebrae that happens before birth. “Congenital” means a condition a person is born with.
●Postural kyphosis – This problem happens if a child does not stand up straight or slouches. It is more common in teenage girls than in younger girls or boys of any age.
●Scheuermann kyphosis – In this condition, some vertebrae in the upper spine are shaped like a wedge instead of a rectangle. This causes the upper part of the spine to curve.
What are the symptoms of kyphosis? — The main symptom is a hunched or rounded back that might hurt or feel stiff.
Will my child need tests? — Probably. The doctor or nurse should be able to tell if your child has kyphosis by doing an exam. But he or she might order a back X-ray and other tests. These tests will allow the doctor or nurse to see the bones of the spine and measure the curve of the back.
How is kyphosis treated? — The treatment depends on what caused the problem and how serious it is.
Children with congenital kyphosis often need surgery to fix the vertebrae problems.
Children with postural kyphosis often do not need treatment. Exercises to stretch and strengthen the back can help, but children often do not do the exercises as directed.
Children with Scheuermann kyphosis can:
●Do exercises to stretch and strengthen the back
●Avoid activities that cause pain
●Take medicines to ease pain
●Wear a back brace
If they continue to have pain or have severe kyphosis, children with Scheuermann kyphosis sometimes need surgery.