For appointments or confidential discussion call
London Clinic 07776 511824
Norwich Clinic 01603 505063

The London Norwich Spine Clinic is based at
Hospital of St Johns & St Elizabeth, St Johns Wood, London
and the Spire Norwich Hospital, Norwich.
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Information for GPs

Your spine is one of the most important and complex parts of your body - keeping it healthy is vital if you want to lead an active and pain free life.

Sheuermann's Kyphosis

This usually affects 13-16 year olds when the front of the upper spine does not grow as fast as the back, so the vertebrae become wedge-shaped. It most commonly occurs in the thoracic (chest) part of the back. If severe, it can progress into a permanent round back deformity or kyphosis.

Causes

Unknown but is thought to be due to a growth abnormality of the vertebra.

Symptoms

  • Back pain
  • Round back appearance
  • Tender and stiff spine

Diagnosis

  • Physical examination and observation
  • An MRI scan, CT scan or X-ray

Read more about the investigations we use to assess spinal problems >

Treatment options

The majority of herniated discs heal themselves in the first six weeks so conservative treatment can be effective.

Non-operative

  • Physiotherapy
  • Wearing a back brace

Surgery

Although the condition tends to improve once the patient has stopped growing, a few patients may suffer from a permanent kyphotic deformity and this is best corrected with surgery.

Spinal fusion

This operation joins together the vertebrae that are responsible for the curve of the spine. The curve is straightened using metal rods and hooks, and the spine is fused into place using bone grafts.




"The operation has improved my life so much. Thank you." Read case studies >

Case studies

Miss A, aged 16

Condition: Sheuermann's Kyphosis

Treatment: Spinal fusion

Scheuermanns Kyphosis

Mr Rai's notes

"Miss A was referred to me with a painful kyphotic deformity of her thoracic spine that was getting worse with time. All conservative means had failed so the team suggested surgery.

I inserted screws into each vertebra and took out multiple wedges from behind. The deformity then was corrected by linking the screws to some rods to straighten the spine.

The operation took about six hours and we used spinal cord monitoring to ensure the procedure did not cause any damage to the delicate spinal nerves."

Scheuermanns Kyphosis

The patient's experience:

"I was being bullied at school because my shoulders were getting more and more rounded and I looked as if I was leaning forward all the time. I felt shy and found it hard to talk to people.

Since the operation, life is so much better. I look like my friends now and don't stand out. I fit in and I'm not bullied any more. The operation has improved my life so much. Thank you."