Kyphosis is rounding of the upper spine that causes the person to have a hunched back. In cases of severe kyphosis, the curvature can press against the nerve that runs through the spinal column and cause paralysis.
Kyphosis may be present at birth (congenital) or may be caused by injury, infection, or disease. Kyphosis associated with bone thinning (osteoporosis) in older people often is called a dowager's hump.
Current as of: May 23, 2016
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Donations to UW Health are managed by the University of Wisconsin Foundation, a publicly supported charitable organization under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.