What is Kyphosis?
Kyphosis is a condition that involves abnormal curvature of the spine. The 3 major sections of the spinal column are cervical (neck); thoracic (mid back); and lumbar (lower back). The cervical and lumbar spinal columns both have natural lordotic curvatures whereas the thoracic spinal column has a natural kyphotic curvature. Lordotic curvatures are convex curvatures when facing the patient whereas kyphotic curvatures are concave. The term kyphosis refers to a condition in which there is reversal of the natural lordotic curvature (i.e., cervical or lumbar spine) or exaggeration of the natural kyphotic curvature (i.e., thoracic spine). An abnormal curvature alters the way in which the axial load of the body is distributed upon the spinal column. This can result in excessive wear and tear on the spinal column and associated joints. A common symptom of abnormal spinal curvature or kyphosis is back pain. In severe cases, kyphosis may result in a pinched nerve or pinched spinal cord that can have significant neurologic consequences.
Symptoms of Kyphosis
Although kyphosis often occurs without any symptoms, symptomatic patients often present with chronic neck or back pain. Other patients may present with radiculopathy (injured nerve root) or myelopathy (injured spinal cord). Radiculopathy involves pinched nerve roots that can cause pain numbness or weakness in the affected arm or leg. Patients with myelopathy often present with difficulty walking, maintaining balance, hand writing, decreased sensation, and may also be at increased risk for paralysis if left untreated.
Treatment for Kyphosis
Usually there are one or a few vertebral segments that significantly contribute to kyphosis due to either spinal fracture or severe degenerative disease. Treatment for kyphosis is generally directed toward correcting or repairing the abnormal curve that results. A spinal brace can be used in some patients along with physical therapy to strengthen the core muscles. In other cases, surgical intervention is required to decompress the nerve roots and/or spinal cord and reconstruct the spinal column to a more anatomically stable structure. When spinal cord injury occurs as a result of kyphosis, surgical intervention may be required to prevent irreversible neurologic impairment.
At Princeton Neurological Surgery, Dr. Lipani is a board certified fellowship trained spine surgeon in New Jersey who performs minimally invasive spine surgery as well as complex spinal procedures. Dr. Lipani is a specialist in the treatment for kyphosis and many other spinal conditions such as spinal stenosis, herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, low back pain, neck pain, spinal tumors, spinal cancer and more. Dr. Lipani treats patients from around the world, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey including locally from Princeton, New Brunswick, Hopewell, Pennington and communities throughout Somerset, Middlesex, Ocean, Burlington, Monmouth and Mercer Counties for kyphosis. Dr. Lipani offers image guided spine surgery approaches for kyphosis treatment, tailored to the needs of each patient. For state-of-the-art kyphosis treatment, call or email us to schedule a consultation at our offices in Hamilton, New Jersey or Bridgewater, New Jersey!