European Spine Journal

, Volume 14, Issue 9, pp 817–827 | Cite as

Scheuermann’s kyphosis: surgical management

Review

Abstract

Indications for surgery in Scheuermann disease are not well codified and remain rare, as the natural history of the disease is in most cases benign. In the immature adolescent, conservative treatment, such as bracing or casting, can be tried for moderate curves. For larger curves, or in the adult, conservative treatment is usually not effective, and surgery can be considered. Such indications are mostly cosmetic for large curves above 75°. Pain over the deformity or in the low back may represent another surgical indication, especially in the adult group. The question of anterior release or straight posterior fusion has become more of an actuality with the advent of powerful, third-generation stiff segmental instrumentation. However, the long-term results of a modern, posterior-only instrumentation fusion are not known. Concern about loss of correction, late pseudarthrosis or the need to remove instrumentation for infected hardware or due to late pain at the operative site must make us careful about choosing this method. Very rigid and large curves still require an anterior release, either done in a conventional or mini-open fashion, or through video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery. The extent of the posterior instrumentation has now been better defined. One must fuse the whole Cobb angle without hypercorrection and stop distally, above the first lordotic disc, to avoid sagittal decompensation. New approaches such as short anterior fusion with bone-on-bone techniques and pedicle substraction osteotomies have not yet been reported in the literature as having been used for treating Scheuermann’s kyphosis. These should be considered experimental.

Keywords

Scheuermann’s kyphosis Spinal fusion 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  2. 2.ORTON Orthopedic Hospital Invalid FoundationHelsinkiFinland

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