Although it’s usually associated with occupations or lifestyles that require a lot of stooping and crouching, you can develop lumbar kyphosis or a round back for a number of different reasons. A malalignment disease, lumbar kyphosis can happen at any age, but it usually worsens as you get older. While you may be able to relieve some of the pain that lumbar kyphosis creates, spinal fusion surgery is the only reliable cure. And the most reliable neurosurgeon providing that service is in Edison, New Jersey. If you’re suffering from any curvature of the spine, call on Dr. Branko Skovrlj, a world-renowned back surgeon at NU-Spine: The Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Institute.
What Is Lumbar Kyphosis?
Kyphosis is a condition characterized by an abnormal outward curvature of the spine. Lumbar kyphosis manifests in your lower back and forces you to bend forward. Curvature of the spine disease can also appear in other areas of your back, as:
- Cervical kyphosis in your upper back. This is the condition most associated with the term hunchback. The condition is most prevalent among the elderly.
- Thoracic kyphosis, which occurs in the middle of your back. It not only makes your back rounded, but it also greatly affects your internal organs.
Lumbar degenerative kyphosis, or simply lumbar kyphosis, falls under the umbrella of the flat-back syndrome, which afflicts people with lifestyles that require a lot of bending or crouching, such as agricultural work or specific trades.
In Edison, New Jersey, a leading spine surgeon Dr. Branko Skovrlj at NU-Spine specializes in surgeries to treat complicated spinal issues like lumbar kyphosis. He uses advanced surgical techniques and modern technology to provide you with evidence-based spinal treatments focusing on long-term successful outcomes.
What Are Some Symptoms of Lumbar Kyphosis?
Lumbar kyphosis is a sagittal plane malalignment disease, which means that you have difficulty maintaining your balance while standing upright. You have to bend forward to stabilize your stance. This leads to misalignment of the spine that’s recognized through a number of symptoms, such as:
- Low back pain, which worsens the longer it goes untreated
- Inhibited mobility, making it difficult to walk and eventually being unable to perform many simple activities of daily living such as bathing and cooking
- Compromised balance, requiring you to use assistive devices, like a cane or walker, to move around
- An abnormally curved spine
While the major problems associated with lumbar kyphosis are a stooped posture and poor balance, there are related symptoms that you may or may not develop right away. In addition to pain and discomfort, you may also experience symptoms, such as:
- Difficulty taking deep breaths
- Low self-esteem that can lead to isolation or depression
- Digestive disorders
- Limited mobility
- Numbness or tingling in your arms or legs
- Tight hamstrings from having to work harder to keep you upright
What Causes Lumbar Kyphosis?
While this condition is generally associated with agricultural workers who have to stoop while working for long hours every day, daily work habits aren’t the only cause. Many people — from children and adolescents to adults and senior citizens who never worked in the fields — also suffer from lumbar kyphosis.
Other conditions and situations that lead you to need lumbar kyphosis treatment include:
- Postural kyphosis. This is the most common form of the disease and tends to appear during the teenage years. More common among females, the abnormal curvature is flexible and moves with changing body positions.
- Scheuermann’s kyphosis. This disease also appears during puberty, but afflicts males more often. It usually begins when young men begin big growth spurts. The shape of the vertebra is curved rather than square and causes a curve in the spine.
- Osteogenesis imperfecta. This brittle bone disease causes vertebrae to break from constant little stressors. Eventually, the bones lose support to maintain your spine in the proper curvature.
- Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Marfan syndrome. These are conditions that cause spinal misalignment in young children.
- When your vertebrae are crushed or broken, it can leave you with a curvature. Compression fractures don’t always lead to obvious curvatures, though.
- Spina bifida. This and other birth defects cause bones to develop improperly before the baby is born.
- Neuromuscular conditions. This happens when your muscles can’t support the normal curvature of the spine.
- Low bone density weakens your bones and leaves them vulnerable to stress fractures that lead to unnatural curvatures. Untreated osteoporosis also makes kyphosis worse.
- Cancer and cancer treatments. Both can weaken your spinal bones.
What Is the Best Lumbar Kyphosis Treatment?
The best and most long-lasting treatment is minimally invasive surgery performed by the leading neurosurgeon in the Northeast. After a thorough physical examination and medical history review, your New Jersey spine surgeon may order tests to rule out any other causes or co-occurring conditions that may be affecting your spinal curvature, such as:
- Imaging tests that reveal the exact amount of curvature and whether there are any infections or tumors present in your lumbar spine
- A bone density test that warns your doctor if your entire skeletal system is at risk for damage and disease
When pain medications, physical therapy or back braces don’t relieve your pain or allow you to straighten your spine, your neurosurgeon recommends that you undergo a procedure called a spinal fusion that:
- Is the most common surgical procedure used for lumbar kyphosis treatment
- Corrects poor spine curvature
- Relies on the expertise of your Edison, NJ spine surgeon
- Grafts pieces of bone between the vertebrae to fuse them together
- Provides the best process for securing new bone in the proper position with metal rods and screws
- Gives your surgeon options like advanced TLIF or XLIF/X-LIF procedures
- Requires a hospital stay of about three or four days
- Follows with home-based recovery for four to six weeks
For the best lumbar kyphosis treatment available, contact the spine specialist at NU-Spine today. Correct your back curvature and gain a better view of life.Page Updated on Jul 9, 2021 by Dr. Branko Skovrlj (Neurosurgeon / Spine surgeon) of NU-Spine: The Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Institute in New Jersey