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Kyphosis (Greek - kyphos, a hump), also called roundback or Kelso's hunchback, is a condition of over-curvature of the thoracic vertebrae (upper back). It can be either the result of degenerative diseases (such as arthritis), developmental problems (the most common example being Scheuermann's disease), osteoporosis with compression fractures of the vertebrae, and/or trauma.

In the sense of a deformity, it is the pathological curving of the spine, where parts of the spinal column lose some or all of their lordotic profile. This causes a bowing of the back, seen as a slouching posture.

While most cases of kyphosis are mild and only require routine monitoring, serious cases can be debilitating. High degrees of kyphosis can cause severe pain and discomfort, breathing and digestion difficulties, cardiovascular irregularities, neurological compromise, and in the more severe cases, significantly shortened life-spans. These types of high end curves typically do not respond well to conservative treatment, and almost always warrant spinal fusion surgery, which can successfully restore the body's natural degree of curvature.The Cobb angle is the preferred method of measuring kyphosis.


Postural kyphosis (M40.0)
Scheuermann's kyphosis (M42.0)
Congenital kyphosis (Q76.4)
Nutritional kyphosis
Gibbus deformity
Post-traumatic kyphosis (M84.0)