About Kyphosis

What is it and what are your treatment options?
Anchorage: (907)562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267
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What is Kyphosis?

The spine is divided into cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back), and lumbar (lower back) regions. Each region’s natural curve maintains spine shape, stability, and posture. A spinal curvature disorder occurs when the spine deviates from its natural shape.

Kyphosis is a spinal curvature disorder of the thoracic vertebrae. Kyphosis causes an abnormally pronounced “reverse c” shape, also known as a hunchback.

Common causes of kyphosis include:

  • Birth defects
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Fractures
  • Osteoporosis
  • Spine development problems during puberty

Common Symptoms:

Many people have asymptomatic kyphosis but do not know it. Symptomatic kyphosis may cause:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain
  • Stiffness

When diagnosing kyphosis, OPA Spine Team Specialists:

  • Obtain the patient’s medical history
  • Perform a physical examination
  • Orders and analyze X-rays

After an accurate diagnosis is made, a customized treatment plan is prescribed.

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options treat the majority of cases of kyphosis. Any of the following may be included in a treatment plan:

Anti-inflammatory and pain medications

Medications to decrease pain, prevent spasms, improve bone density and health.

Physical Therapy

One of OPA’s onsite physical therapists works with the patient to stretch and strengthen spine muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Bracing

A removable back brace.
Surgery may be recommended to treat severe kyphosis, especially in the instance where a nerve root is pinched or compressed. During a minimally invasive spinal fusion procedure, portions of vertebral bone and cartilage are removed and proper spine curvature is restored. A small plate and screws hold the spine in a fixed position. Bone graft is packed into the spine and later fuses with existing bone to form a single, solid bone that does not move but causes no pain.

At OPA, our Board-Certified and Fellowship-Trained Spine Specialists, Dr. Mark Flanum, Dr. James Eule and Dr. Curtis Mina are experts in treating kyphosis.

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment to see one of our Spine Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla.

Schedule An Appointment

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla, AK.

Anchorage: (907)562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267

OPA Spine Team

(click a provider to view profile)

Dr. James Eule

Orthopedic Spine Specialist

Dr. Mark Flanum

Orthopedic Spine Specialist

Dr. Curtis Mina

Orthopedic Spine Specialist

Sean Taylor, MD

Pain Management

Our Mission

To provide the finest orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal care in North America, offering general and specialized adult care to all Alaskans and visitors.

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