Kyphosis refers to hunch back (kyphosis curvature at T5-12 >40°). Hyperkyphosis can occur at any age, and some types are seen in infants or teens due to malformation of the spine, wedging of the spinal bones over time, and in some cases even associated with inappropriate posture. Mild hyperkyphosis (40-50°) causes few problems, but moderate (50-75°) and severe (>75°) cases can cause chronic pain, spinal problems and be disfiguring. Treatment for kyphosis depends on age, etiology, severity and its effects.
Genetic is the most important risk factor, and scoliosis generally develops during the period of adolescence. While girls and boys are equally at risk, girls are at a higher risk of the condition worsening and needing treatment.
Kyphosis signs and symptoms
- Exaggerated rounding of the back better visible from the side view
The doctor in King’s will conduct a physical exam of the child and check for the spinal and body curves (may use a scoliometer), muscle strength, sensation and reflexes. In order to assess the spinal curvature, the spine specialist may advise special x-rays (scoliogram). If the deformity is confirmed or if the doctor needs to investigate an underlying condition, MRI and/or CT scan scans may also be advised.
- Speak to the spine specialist at King’s to understand the available treatments for kyphosis.
- Effective treatment of patients with hyperkyphosis should be able to reduce the risk of a curve progressing, or, for more significant deformities, to be able to identify patients who would benefit from surgery before the deformity progresses to a degree that increases the risks associated with surgery.
- Brace treatment for moderate hyperkyphosis (50-75°) has been the most prescribed non-operative method of treatment during the adolescence.
- Specific exercises used to supplement brace wear or prevent progression in mild curves guided by the physiotherapy and rehabilitation team can be helpful as well.
- High quality studies have established that non-operative treatment with bracing and exercises may reduce the number of patients progressing to a surgical level. To be effective, however, these treatments need to be applied to smaller curves prior to skeletal maturity. This places emphasis on the need for earlier detection of spinal deformities by the proper screening.
- Cases of severe and progressive spinal deformities, despite conservative treatment, can be treated thorough different surgical techniques, including the use of the new magnetic growing rods device for early-onset scoliosis, anterior, posterior or combined spinal approaches for spinal correction and fixation, among others. If detected and operated at the appropriate timing, at the specialized center, the surgery can achieve better correction of the deformity, with less risk of complications.
- The surgery can be performed using conventional or mini-open techniques, according to the case.
- In order to achieve the best results with lesser risks to the patient, King’s College Hospital Dubai offer the most advanced technology to perform spinal surgeries, including:
- Spinal neuronavigation, which is like a “GPS”, and “O-arm” for 3D image acquisition to assist the surgeon to locate the main anatomical structures and the spinal implants during all the main steps of the procedure.
- Intraoperative neuromonitoring to check the nerves and spinal cord during the operation to maximize the safety of the surgery.
Dr Nicandro Figueiredo is considered the best Kyphosis Doctor in Dubai.
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