The specialized spine doctors at UT Southwestern Spine Center are dedicated to helping patients overcome spine problems, providing comprehensive care and access to the latest and most effective treatments.
UT Southwestern Medical Center’s team of specialists at the Spine Center is skilled at addressing the complexities of care for patients with kyphosis – the forward rounding of the back – whether it’s providing customized back braces, physical therapy, or surgery.
When patients do require surgery, our collaborative team of neurosurgeons, orthopaedic surgeons, pain management specialists, and physiatrists offer an array of treatment options that are tailored to each patient’s unique situation.
Kyphosis is a front-to- back curvature of the spine that can lead to a hunchback or slouching posture. While forward curvature is normal in the rib cage (thoracic) area, it can become a problem in severe cases. Many things can cause kyphosis – from degenerative diseases and osteoporosis to injuries and other conditions that affect the spine.
Both adults and children can suffer from kyphosis, but it is rarely present at birth. Scheuermann’s kyphosis occurs only in adolescents.
Many patients have no symptoms besides the curved spine, but some people experience pain and stiffness.
If we believe that a patient has kyphosis, we’ll conduct a physical examination and measure the curve of the spine. To diagnose the condition, we usually order spine imaging studies, such as:
- Bone scans
- Computed tomography (CT) scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Nerve conduction studies to measure electrical activity generated by muscles and nerves
Treatment for Kyphosis
Treatment for kyphosis depends on the severity and location of the curve in the spine, its cause, and whether the patient is still growing.
Some people with kyphosis don’t require treatment, but when it is needed, it can include:
- Anti-inflammation drugs
- Cortisone injections
- Physical therapy
We’ll create a care plan that minimizes the number of visits a patient needs to make, while also providing all the support needed.
Research and Clinical Trials
UT Southwestern conducts clinical trials aimed at improving the treatment of kyphosis. Talk with our doctors to see if a clinical trial is available.