Adult Kyphosis Treatment

Adult Kyphosis Treatment

Adult Kyphosis Treatment

The word “kyphosis” describes curvature in the spine. The thoracic spine is supposed to be curved, but if the curve in a person's thoracic spine is more than 40 to 45 degrees, it is considered abnormal or a spinal deformity. Adult kyphosis can have symptoms and degrees of severity that range from minor changes in your back to severe deformity, nerve problems, and chronic pain.

Adult Kyphosis Treatment Methods

Adult kyphosis has several treatment options. Commonly recommended conservative treatment includes medications, exercise, and some braces to support the spinal cord. Spine surgery will always be the last treatment option due to the risks involved.

  • If osteoporosis is present with kyphosis, osteoporosis treatment can slow the progression of degenerative kyphosis. Treatment for osteoporosis includes: increasing calcium and vitamin D intake, hormone replacement therapy, and weight-bearing exercises.
  • The use of a spinal support can relieve your pain. However, in adults, it does not provide straightening of the spine. Once you reach skeletal maturity, support is used for pain relief rather than prevention. If you have a difference in the length of your legs (or scoliosis causes you to walk slightly crooked), special shoe inserts called orthotics or a simple shoe lift may reduce your back pain.
  • Physical therapy and exercise are an important part of adult kyphosis. A well-designed exercise program can provide pain relief for many patients.
  • Learning correct body mechanics to maintain an upright posture that counteracts the effects of kyphosis
  • Doing regular gentle exercise, such as swimming
  • Doing your daily stretching exercises

Surgical Treatment of Adult Kyphosis

Adult kyphosis surgery carries some risks. Therefore, surgery is recommended when the expected benefit far outweighs the risk. Surgery may be recommended in the following cases:

  • Pain – The most common reason for surgery is to relieve pain for an increasing chronic condition. Most adult kyphosis surgeries are performed to relieve severe pain.
  • Curve Progression – Progression of the kyphosis deformity is another reason to consider surgery. If the curvature continues to worsen, surgery may be recommended.

Surgical procedures

When adult kyphosis requires surgery, many different procedures may be recommended. Each case of kyphosis is slightly different, and each may require a very specific approach for optimal results. Surgery is recommended not only to correct the spine but also to solve the problems caused by kyphosis. The goals of most surgical procedures for adult kyphosis are to:

  • Reducing deformity (straightening the spine as much as possible)
  • Stopping the progression of the deformity
  • Relieving pressure on nerves and spinal cord
  • Protecting nerves and spinal cord from further damage
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