Kyphosis (from Greek κυφός kyphos, a hump) is an abnormally excessive convex kyphotic curvature of the spine as it occurs in the cervical, thoracic and sacral regions. (Abnormal inward concave lordotic curving of the cervical and lumbar regions of the spine is called lordosis.) Kyphosis can be called roundback or Kelso's hunchback. It can result from degenerative diseases such as arthritis; developmental problems, most commonly Scheuermann's disease; osteoporosis with compression fractures of the vertebra; multiple myeloma or trauma. A normal thoracic spine extends from the 1st to the 12th vertebra and should have a slight kyphotic angle, ranging from 20° to 45°. When the "roundness" of the upper spine increases past 45° it is called kyphosis or "hyperkyphosis". Scheuermann's kyphosis is the most classic form of hyperkyphosis and is the result of wedged vertebrae that develop during adolescence. The cause is not currently known and the condition appears to be multifactorial and is seen more frequently in males than females. 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.
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