Scheuermann’s disease, also known as Scheuermann’s kyphosis, often goes undiagnosed at onset. This skeletal disease only affects about five percent of the population, and first appears during adolescence. The exact reasons for its development are unknown, but experts believe it is due primarily to a growth abnormality caused by osteochondrosis, a group of disorders that affect growing bones. Diagnosis of Scheuermann's disease usually follows complaints of persistent back pain. The condition affects males more than females, but once the child stops growing, symptoms usually subside, and the spine goes back to its original shape.
Research indicates abnormal bone growth due to interruptions in blood flow cause Scheuermann's disease. The disease generally appears just before puberty, during periods of growth, but adults can develop symptoms as well. Scheuermann’s affects the thoracic spine, the area between the shoulder blades. Characteristics of the disease include excess curvature in the upper back that causes hunched appearance. Instead of a healthy, rectangular shape, the vertebrae in the back become triangular-shaped, which leads to an increased curve.
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