What is Scheuermann's disease?
Scheuermann’s disease, also called “Scheuermann’s kyphosis,” is a skeletal disorder involving abnormal growth of the spine. Greater growth along the upper back section of the spine causes vertebra to wedge together and form a ‘hunched’ back, or kyphosis. The normal spine already curves in the chest region and the lower back region. However, with Scheuermann’s disease, growth is irregular, which increases the kyphosis curvature, usually in the rib region.
Scheuermann’s disease is associated with progressive deformity, stiffness and back pain. While the pain often lessens over time, the deformity does not improve. The deformity is often apparent and can lead to increased kyphosis (hunched back) of the thoracic spine. To make sure the head stays upright (rather than falling forward), the spine also develops a lordosis (arching) of both the cervical (neck) and lumbar (lower back).
Treatment is personalized for each child, whether your child has physical therapy to focus on core strengthening, receives spinal bracing, or has surgery. Treatment goals often focus on decreasing the child’s or young adult’s pain because of this condition.