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kyphosis? Scheumann's Kyphosis? Osteoporosis?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Osteoporosis and Fractures
50 yr old male.
2 years ago, diagnosed with osteoporosis after a chest x-ray said I had an old thoracic vertebrae fracture.
tested for and confirmed that I have osteoporosis.
I then went to orthopedic doctor who said my break(s) were old and that I likely had Scheumann's Kyphosis, though I never remember having this bad of a posture problem.
Taking generic fosamax, my osteoporosis is now osteopenia.
My back is virtually always in pain. I have "crawly" pain in my upper back, and difficulty catching a deep breath.
My doctor says he cannot help.
after hearing of Cobb Index, I asked for that number. I was told it is 60 degrees.
I went to see back specialist who said he agreed with other orthopedic doc that I do have Scheumann's Kyphosis, but they are in the same group and would they likely disagree?
All I know is that I cannot stand for any length of time, I cannot sit unless the chair has a good back support, and I feel miserable. I won't take my shirt off in public, I won't swim, and would rather have sweat soaked shirt than risk showing someone my disfigured back.
I do exercise (daily for an hour) but to little avail. Is there anything I can do?


  • whatever you do or whereever you go do not ever be ashamed of the way you look any way its probabaly not even bad its the way you see youself in your own mind . i just had a spinal fusion im a young woman . and hell yea i will show off my back because my surgery had to be done i didnt have a choice.i dont know about this that you have and if surgery isnt to be and pain can be contrled then it will be. and welcome to the site youll love it here.they heleped me for 2 months before my surgery . renee :H
  • Scheuermann's Kyphosis is the curve of the thoracic spine, but is specific to adolescents. It's not likely it would be a diagnosis of Scheuermann's Kyphosis past the age of 15, since it is diagnosed between 11-15 as specifically Scheuermann's. However, they could simply be calling it "Scheuermann's Kyphosis" when it is really Kyphosis. With S.K., to have a diagnosis you have to have a vertebral wedging of at least 5 degrees, in at least 3 consecutive vertebrae. Kyphosis will literally make you look like you are the Hunchback of Notre Dame. It is horrifying to look in the mirror and see it. I have suffered myself for the past 8 years and after a 3 year failed bracing, observation, and a curve that was 25 degrees worse than first diagnosis, I am finally getting a thoracic spinal fusion in October. Thoracic fusion is not as limiting at Lumber fusion (the lower back) because it is not fusing vertebrae in the key flexibility area. The thoracic region doesn't have much movement as it is, and if you do have kyphosis, your movement is almost non-existent, so the fusion really won't change your mobility or flexibility at all. It will, however, drastically change your pain, you self confidence, and view on life.

    Exercising will help with the pain level...to a point. There will get to be a level of exercise or weight that you will not be able to do without hurting yourself more. Kyphosis is a progressive bone disease and it will not stop or reverse with exercise. All exercise can do is affect your muscles, not your actually spine.

    Don't consider surgery unless your curve is about about 70 degrees, bracing can help a little bit below that. You won't be considered to have a spine disorder (such as kyphosis) without a curve of more than 50 degrees. Unless you are in pain, most surgeons will not do this surgery if you under a 100 degree curve. Often, pain is excruciating before that point. But other times, patients can live with a curve up to a 100 degrees without pain or complaint. You want to see an Orthopaedic Surgeon who is a specialist in Scoliosis or Spinal Surgery. Other than that, I would not trust ANYONE to make an accurate diagnosis.
    If you live anywhere near the Northeast, I can give you a referral to an incredible surgeon who is trustworthy and will do anything and everything in the process to eliminate other diagnosis' and surgery.
  • I am in New England and would appreciate the name/contact information for the surgeon.
  • His name is Dr. Philip Anson in Falmouth, Maine.
    This is the website for the office. They are a great place to work with and definitely people to trust with your health.
  • there are not many surgeons who will perform surgery to correct the deformity you describe. i have ankylosing spondylitis with significant deformity, my chin was on my chest preventing me from seeing forward.
    i had surgery to correct the deformity which was successful in that i could see forward and my head was elevated. i had a cervical osteotomy. however i am left with significant deficits in my hands and arms, also a constant electric numbness in the arms.
    this was a risk of the procedure but i rather thought i was not going to have any problems. wrong, i spent four months in the hospital before i was well enough to go to rehab.
    as i said the surgery goal was successful;in my case there were side effects and infections that kept me in hospital.
    i still have mixed feelings about the surgery and if it was worth it. i do not blame the surgeon or the hospital for my problems, sometimes things happen.
    first get a second opinion no matter how long it takes. second my surgery was at mass. general hospital, performed by the chief of orthopedic spine surgery, who is immersed in surgery and i still have all confidence in him. if you go to the mgh web site you can find him.
  • Yes,Scheurmann's kyphosis is found in adults. People with scheurmann's kyphosis are actually born with it. This kind of kyphosis is caused by one side of the vertabra not growing the same as the other side. A lot of times this kyphosis is not diagnosed untill adult hood just because a lot of us that have scheurmanns kyphosis had never been seen by a doctor before. I never went to the doctor even though I was in extream pain for years. When I did go it was because I was in so much pain I could hardly walk anymore. So many adults do have scheurmanns kyphosis. There are pleanty of spine doctors out there that are doing this srugery and they are doing it for curves a lot less then 100 degrees. My curve when I finally went in was over 120 degrees. My surgery was done just a few months after first being seen by my orthopedic surgeon. My curve was a very progressive one. Oh by the way I was just about 36 when I finally went to the doctor for the first time for this and that is how old I was when I had the surgery. I had anterior and posterior surgery and was fused from T/2 to L2. I have had more surgery since because of a car accident and actually I am now fused from C/4 to L/2. This is an 18 or 19 level fusion. Yes there are so many of us adults out there that are being diagnised in adult hood because we didn't have the option of running to doctors all the time when we were younger as some do now. Even with the hump in my back and all the extream pain and everything else that comes with this spinal condition I didn't see a doctor for it untill it disabled me. So yes, there are alot of adults just getting diagnosied with scheurmann's kyphosis,
  • I was also diagnoised with this 20 years ago (still was not a teen then either) I am betting this is a misdiagnosis. 20 year after that I still have not been told what my condition is.
  • Minimal curvature...in alot of pain though. Recent damage to my spine..all adult onset
    Dawn :)
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