Kyphosis (Hunchback) Treated by Spine Doctors at Mercy Medical Center

The Maryland Spine Center at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

Patients from Baltimore and the Mid-Atlantic region seek the expertise of the spine surgeons at The Maryland Spine Center at Mercy. Our doctors have dedicated their careers to the diagnosis and treatment of spine disorders, such as kyphosis, and offer patients innovative surgical methods for severe conditions.

About the Condition

Kyphosis, or hunchback, is a progressive forward bending of the spine caused by:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Disc degeneration
  • Scheuermann's disease (hereditary disorder)
  • Cancer or cancer treatments

 Kyphosis can develop in the:

  • Neck – the head hangs forward and neck muscles become sore
  • Upper back (thoracic spine) – the spine bends forward to produce a hunchback deformity
  • Lower back (lumbar spine) – flat back syndrome forces the patient to lean forward when standing or walking
NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Symptoms of kyphosis may include:

  • Rounding or curving of the back
  • Low back pain
  • Back fatigue

A physical exam by a spine specialist can determine if a patient has kyphosis. Imaging tests such as X-rays, MRIs or CT scans as well as nerve tests also may be conducted.

NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Treatment options for kyphosis can include:

  • Medications
  • Therapy
  • Surgery

Spine surgery typically is the best treatment option for severe kyphosis. The expert surgeons at The Maryland Spine Center at Mercy use the Kyphoreduction stress-relaxation methods developed by Dr. Charles Edwards. Our spine surgeons use one midline back incision without the need to open the chest or abdomen. This surgery has been highly successful for patients of all ages suffering from kyphosis.

Vertebroplasty, a cement injection into the back, is available for elderly patients with kyphosis due to osteoporosis. These patients experience the painful collapse of one or two vertebrae. The vertebral collapse due to weakened, osteoporotic vertebrae leads to a painful, hunchback deformity. In many of these patients the spine can be straightened and protected with an “internal brace” using spinal instrumentation with or without fusion.

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