May also be called: Roundback or Hunchback
Kyphosis (ki-FO-sis) is an abnormal rounding of the spine that occurs in the upper and middle part of the back. Scheuermann's kyphosis, which is caused by the wedging together of several vertebrae in a row, can run in families and is usually seen in adolescents.
More to Know
Several other types of kyphosis also can affect kids and teens:
Kyphosis also can be due to neuromuscular, connective tissue, or endocrine problems.
Usually, mild kyphosis doesn't lead to any problems or need to be treated. Severe and visible cases of kyphosis, however, can be painful, cause problems in the lungs and other organs, or lead to emotional issues. In these cases a back brace, surgery, or physical therapy might be recommended.
Keep in Mind
Kids and teens with kyphosis can lead active, normal lives and usually won't have any restrictions placed on them. Sports and activities don't make kyphosis worse, so even after surgery it's OK for them to be active (while following their doctor's advice on how to do so safely).
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2021 KidsHealth® All rights reserved. Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com