Which physical findings are characteristic of Scheuermann disease (juvenile kyphosis)?

Updated: Sep 08, 2020
  • Author: Jozef E Nowak, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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  • Patients with upper thoracic Scheuermann's disease present with a kyphotic deformity best demonstrated in the forward flexed position.

  • Decreased flexibility of the spine is noted, indicating the structural nature of the kyphotic deformity, in contrast with patients with flexible postural kyphosis.

  • Patients may have tenderness to palpation above and below the apex of the kyphosis.

  • A high association exists between scoliosis and Scheuermann's disease. Patients also may have a hyperlordosis in the lumbar spine.

  • Lower thoracic kyphosis is localized at the thoracolumbar junction; in general, any kyphotic deformity present at this level must be considered abnormal.

  • Hamstring tightness may be present in these patients.

  • A careful neurologic examination is recommended, although neurologic deficits are extremely rare.

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