Which clinical history findings are characteristic of kyphosis?

Updated: May 04, 2020
  • Author: R Carter Cassidy, MD; Chief Editor: Jeffrey A Goldstein, MD  more...
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Patients being evaluated for spine deformity should have a thorough history performed. Patients presenting with kyphosis may have as much concern about the cosmesis of the deformity as about the pain. Typically, though, the more significant the deformity is, the greater the pain that will be experienced with ambulation and the eprformance of activities of daily living (ADL). [25]  The presence of numbness or tingling sensations in the lower extremities, more frequent falls, and balance issues should prompt evaluation of the spinal cord and neural elements, which can be compressed with significant deformity.

A 10- to 42-year natural-history study of Scheuermann disease revealed that patients, as compared with control subjects, tended to have increased back pain. [22]  However, they were not more likely to take pain medication, to have sedentary jobs, or to lose motion of the spine. The investigators found no differences between the patient group and the control group with respect to educational level, absenteeism, self-consciousness, or reports of numbness in the legs. Of interest, restrictive lung disease was observed in patients with a curve greater than 100°.

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