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
Patients with Scheuermann's disease often present with poor posture and complaints of back pain. Back pain is most common during the early teenage years and in most instances will decrease as they approach adulthood. The pain rarely interferes with daily activity or professional careers. Patients with postural kyphosis have no abnormalities in the spinal vertebrae. However, patients with Scheuermann's kyphosis demonstrate asymmetrical growth of several vertebrae which causes a sharp, rigid angular kyphosis. (Figure 2)
The kyphotic deformity that develops with growth frequently remains mild and requires only periodic x-rays. When the deformity is moderately severe (55o-80o) and the patient remains skeletally immature, brace treatment in conjunction with an exercise program is the recommended treatment.
|Figure 2A: Lateral x-ray of a patient with Scheuermann's disease.
Figure 2B: Close-up x-ray demonstrating wedge-shaped vertebrae characteristic of Scheuermann's disease.
Figure 3A: Skeletally immature male with hyperkyphosis and forward truncal shift.
When the kyphotic deformity has become severe (greater than 80o) and the patient is often experiencing increased back pain, surgical treatment may be recommended. Surgical intervention allows significant correction to be achieved typically without the need for postoperative bracing. Patients are usually able to return to normal daily activities within 4-6 months following surgery. The correction achieved from surgical intervention is remarkable. (Figure 4)