Kyphosis

Kyphosis of the Lumbar Spine

Although Kyphosis is usually found in the thoracic spine area, it occasionally affects the lumbar spine in elderly patients and is considered to be a reversal of the normal anterior curve. Progressive lumbar Kyphosis (or camptocormia) is a rare usually inherited disease in elderly patients and is characterized by the inability to immobilize the lumbar spine in relation to the pelvis. Lumbar Kyphosis may be either localized or generalized. A localized lumbar Kyphosis produces a posterior angular deformity, most often due to a localized bony abnormality such as a collapsed vertebrae. Generalized lumbar Kyphosis is rare and is usually associated with a protective muscle spasm and a person's lumbar extension becomes restricted. In elderly patients, lumbar Kyphosis may be caused by spondylosis, spondylitis or possibly osteoporosis.

Symptoms

Symptoms of lumbar Kyphosis may include:

  • Curved of unattractive posture
  • Pain
  • Pressure on internal organs
  • Pressure on the spinal cord and spinal nerve roots which may cause weakness in the lower extremities

Diagnosis

In order to make a proper diagnosis and rule out other conditions, a complete history will be taken. If Kyphosis is expected, your doctor will want to know about specific things such as:

  • Family history of Kyphosis as some types of Kyphosis tend to run in families.
  • Date of noticed onset of the condition.
  • X-ray comparison if previous X-rays have been taken to measure curve progression.
  • Whether you are experiencing pain.
  • Bowel or Bladder Dysfunction.
  • Any changes in motor function.
  • Any previous surgeries.

A physical exam will also be done to get a better understanding of the curve in your back and how it is affecting you. In addition to X-rays and the above, your doctor will look at your spine movement, strength of your muscles, whether there is pain, test your reflexes and sensation as well as your motor skills.

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