Scheuermann's disease

Scheuermann's disease is a condition in which one or more of the bones of the spine (vertebrae) develop wedge-shaped deformities. This causes curvature of the spine (rounding of the back, or kyphosis), most commonly in the chest region.

The curvature may become permanent if it is not corrected within 6 to 9 months. However, bracing often prevents further progression of the disease and may improve the existing curvature. Exercises and good posture can also be helpful. Surgery is occasionally needed.

Scheuermann's disease occurs most often in children between ages 12 and 16 and is more common in boys than girls. The cause is unknown.

Last Updated: August 12, 2009

Author: Jan Nissl, RN, BS

Medical Review: William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine

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