Scheuermann Disease, Epidemiology, Classification, Symptoms and Treatment

Scheuermann’s Disease is also known as juvenile kyphosis. It is a disorder of thoracic or thoracolumbar region of the vertebral column in which the child feels severe backache along with kyphosis of the spinal column. Also, some regional changes happen in the bodies of vertebral bones.


  • This disease happens in almost 5% of the general population. The range can be taken as 0.4 to 8%
  • There is slightly male predominance in the prevalence of this disease.


The exact etiology is not known yet but it is proposed that the apophyseal rings of vertebral bodies are affected by aseptic necrosis. Frequent heavy weight lifting practice also contributes to the necrosis of vertebrae.

it is also discovered that this disease has a strong hereditary predisposition suggesting that the pattern of inheritance may be autosomal dominant.

Classification of Scheuermann’s Disease

This disease is classified into following two types:

  • Type 1 – This type involves only the thoracic region of the vertebral column.
  • Type 2 – This variety involves the lower part of the thoracic vertebral column as well as the lumbar part.

Symptoms of Scheuermann’s Disease

Symptoms of this disease usually emerge between the age of ten and fifteen years. This is the time when considerable growth of the vertebral column happens. There may be many signs and symptoms of this condition but the common ones are discussed below:

  • Muscles stiffness and fatigue specifically after spending a day involving a prolonged time of sitting.
  • The prominence of the curvature of the vertebral column
  • Erythema of the skin when the prominence of spinal column rubs with the back of the chair.
  • Pain is often felt which is aggravated by certain activities like bending, moving on back from side to side, twisting, dancing, participating in gymnastics and other sports needing these types of activities.
  • The difficulty is felt during work out
  • Intermittent back pain
  • The flexibility of the vertebral column is reduced
  • Balance is disturbed.

It must be noted that there are very fewer chances of serious damage to the spinal column but there is the harm of some damage to the spinal column and internal viscera of the body. This can be explained as, if the vertebral column is excessively protruded in the forward direction, lungs are compressed and breathing problems happen.

Nonsurgical Treatment Options for Scheuermann’s Disease

Treatment of this condition depends upon the nature and severity of the disease. The factors determining the prognosis of the disease are:

  • The severity of the curvature in the vertebral column
  • Amount of flexibility in the affected region of the vertebral column.
  • If the patient is in a growing age? If the spinal column of the patient is expected to grow?
  • Whether the patient is concerned about the appearance?
  • What are the preferences of the patient?

When going for the treatment of Scheuermann’s disease, it is beneficial to understand the anatomy of all the regions of the vertebral column. The vertebral column of human beings has three normal anatomical curvature which aid in the functions of the spinal column. But if the curvature of the vertebral column exceeds 45-degree, it is an abnormal entity. If the abnormal curvature is allowed to continue, it results in chronic pain and disfigurement with the passage of time.

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