Kyphosis is a bowed or rounded back. While some rounding of the back is normal, an abnormal curvature can lead to pain and disfigurement.

You may develop kyphosis as a result of aging. This happens after your bones weaken and compress because of osteoporosis. Kyphosis can also occur in teenagers and children due to malformation of the spine.

Some of the most common symptoms of kyphosis include:

  • Abnormally curved back

  • Stiffness in the back

  • Pain​

If you or your child are experiencing any of the above symptoms, consult a doctor working with the Mind and Brain Service Line​.

Your time with your doctor may be limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. He​re are some tips to help get you started. ​

There are a number of ways for doctors to examine your child for kyphosis. The first protocol your doctor working with the Mind and Brain Service Line​ at The Aga Khan University Hospital will undertake will be to physically examine your child in detail. A thorough physical examination will involve your doctor investigating your child in various positions to see how his or her spine looks from each angle.

For example when your child is standing straight your doctor will be able to see if his or her shoulders are uneven or if there are any other problems with the structure of the spine.

However a physical examination is hardly enough to tell if there is a serious problem. For this reason your doctor will use a number of tests to create images of your child's body. The most commonly used method of diagnosis is X-rays. This test will allow your doctor to pinpoint the exact location where there is a problem in the spine. It is a non-invasive and easy test to conduct. However it should not be used for small children and infants because the rays are harmful for them. Your doctor may also perform a bone scan to assess how healthy your child's bones are.

Another procedure is magnetic resonance imaging or MRI. MRI or magnetic resonance imaging is a test that uses magnetic waves to take pictures of your child's brain and other organs. The MRI can be prenatal or after birth. In the latter case, to conduct an MRI, your child will be placed inside a special machine and the pictures can be saved and stored on a computer. Sometimes a special dye is injected into the bloodstream to enable doctors to see more clearly against the contrast.

Another commonly used method is a computerized tomography or CT scan. This is a quick, painless, non-invasive and accurate imaging procedure. Images produced during this test are stored on a computer so the doctor can see and decide how to treat it, if necessary.

Depending on the severity of the condition, your doctor will suggest a treatment plan.

Your doctor may prescribe your child pain relievers to help alleviate the pain. Amongst older people, kyphosis is one of the early signs of osteoporosis, and hence, your doctor will suggest medications for osteoporosis. He/she may also recommend supplements to strengthen the patient's bones.

To help correct the curvature, your doctor may suggest a body brace.

However, if all methods fail, your doctor will suggest surgery to correct the curvature or alignment of the spine. Usually surgery is the only effective treatment is to repair the abnormality in the vertebrae. This type of surgery is known as spinal fusion.

It is usually performed when the child is quite young in order to control and prevent the disease from getting worse. However, even if early surgery is performed, there may be some additional procedures required. Sometimes a spinal fusion requires autograft (using your child's own bone) or allograft (using someone else's bone) to fuse together the misshapen bones. 

Please click here for some guidelines on "what to do before your surgery".​

Please click here for some guidelines on "what to do on the day of your surgery". ​

Usually children require a brace or cast to be worn for some time after the surgery. This helps to keep the spine in place so that the fused bone heals properly and the right alignment and balance is achieved.

Please click h​ere for some guidelines on "what to do after your surgery". ​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments' costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.