Kyphoscoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine on two different planes: the coronal plane, which divides the stomach and back; and the sagittal plane, which divides the body into its left and right sides.
This curvature is effectively a combination of hyperkyphosis
(forward spinal curve) and scoliosis
(sideways spinal curve). Kyphoscoliosis can occur at any age, and in some cases it may even be present at birth due to congenital issues.
Symptoms of kyphoscoliosis
Kyphoscoliosis is typically noticed due to the visible signs of a hunched or uneven back. If the curvature is excessive, it can also cause physical debilitations.
If you believe that you (or a loved one) may have kyphoscoliosis, here are the symptoms to look for:
- A hunched back
- Uneven shoulder blades
- Arms or legs that are longer on one side
- Difficulty walking normally
- Back pain
In severe cases, kyphoscoliosis patients can also experience difficulty breathing/eating, heart issues or even neurological problems.
Causes of kyphoscoliosis
Kyphoscoliosis can develop at any age and may be caused by a variety of different issues. Many cases of kyphoscoliosis are found to be idiopathic, meaning the exact cause of the condition is unknown.
In some cases, prolonged bad posture can lead to postural kyphoscoliosis. This can usually be eased with physical therapy, depending on the degree of the curvature.
Infections such as tuberculosis and osteochondrodysplasia can also be a cause of kyphoscoliosis as they weaken the spine. In patients aged 50+, kyphoscoliosis can develop when degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis or osteoarthritis are already present.
Physiotherapy can help with mild to moderate cases of kyphoscoliosis. The main aim of physical therapy is to make the spinal tissues stronger in order to help correct the curvature as much as possible.
The Scoliosis SOS Clinic is dedicated to helping those suffering from spinal issues such as kyphoscoliosis, hyperkyphosis and scoliosis with physical therapy. Our ScolioGold courses
work towards improving the posture and symptoms of those suffering from kyphoscoliosis.
In many mild to moderate cases of scoliosis, hyperkyphosis, and kyphoscoliosis, a back brace is used to stunt the progression of the spinal curvature. The brace supports the muscles and bones and encourages the straightening of the spine.
The back braces needed for kyphoscoliosis are still in development as they need to stunt the curvature in both the coronal and sagittal plane.
Surgery becomes an option once kyphoscoliosis becomes severe and threatens to impact the patient's breathing. When considering surgery for kyphoscoliosis, all factors need to be taken into account, such as age, the cause of the condition, risks and recovery time.