Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)
An International Organization Dedicated to the Education, Research and Treatment of Spinal Deformity
Our Mission is to Foster Optimal Care for All Patients with Spinal Deformities
There are two basic types of congenital kyphosis: failure of formation and failure of segmentation. The failure of formation (Type I deformity) of a portion of one or more vertebral bodies most often occurring in the thoracolumbar spine, results in a kyphosis that usually worsens with growth (Figure 1). The deformity is usually visible at birth as a lump or bump on the infant's spine. The failure of segmentation deformity (Type II deformity) occurs as two or more vertebrae fail to separate and to form normal discs and rectangular bones. This type of congenital kyphosis is often more likely to be diagnosed later, after the child is walking.
As with congenital scoliosis, the potential for defects in other organ systems is present. After x-rays confirm the diagnosis, the physician may order additional tests to determine if occult abnormalities are present in the spinal cord, kidneys, cardiac or gastrointestinal system. The MRI provides additional information regarding the abnormal growth potential and may assist in predicting progression of the spinal deformity.
Failure of formation deformity can present with 30 to 60 degree deformities. With the rapid growth of the skeleton in the first year of life, progression is highly likely. Failure of separation (segmentation) deformity has a slower rate of worsening and may not become a surgical curve until adolescence.