View Full Version : Measuring rib hump

03-30-2007, 06:55 PM
I just had a chance to read the report the ortho sent our GP and I have a question about rib humps. Caitlyn has a "mild" curve (no degree given), but it said that she has a rib hump of 70 degrees. Does this sound right? I'm not sure what the norm is for a rib hump, but this seems awfully high for a "mild" curve. Anyone know what the normal degree is for rib humps???

By the way, Caitlyn's MRI was normal!!

03-30-2007, 09:35 PM
So glad her MRI was normal. I'm sorry I can't tell you anything about the rib hump. I know sometimes they measure the back when bent over with a little device called a scolimeter or something. But that is usually like a 10 or 14.

Is there a misunderstanding?

03-31-2007, 09:54 AM
I think the rib hump may occur more from the spine rotating, than the actual curve. Maybe there can be more rotation than curve (?) Linda Racine, can you shed some light on this?


03-31-2007, 02:25 PM

I've never heard of a rib hump being measured in degrees, so I'm not sure I can be of any help. Is it possible that you're talking about kyphosis instead of a rib hump?


04-01-2007, 07:56 AM
Nicole doesn't have kyphosis, only scoliosis. And some doctors ask her to bend down and they take the small plastic instrument and they can see if the rotation got worse, stayed the same, or got better.

04-01-2007, 09:28 AM
After my son's surgery, correction was good, but he still has a rib hump on right b/c the rotation was only corrected about 50%.

Caitlyn's Mom:
Does the rib hump affect 1 or both sides of Caitlyn's back?

Can kyphosis affect 1 side of the back more than the other??


04-01-2007, 10:53 AM
Maybe I read the report wrong--will try to reconfirm it. We are really early on in this process and have only had one visit to dr + MRI (results given by phone)--b/c her curve is so mild we won't be seen again until May/June. There was no mention of kyphosis, but I suspect she may be developing a slight sway back, but may be postural, not sure. I think the hump only effects one side, but not positive, will try to sneak a peak later....

04-01-2007, 11:19 AM
As Linda R. said, I bet it's the Kyphosis that they measured.....which causes the hunchback look from an abnormal /exaggerated curve of the spine...mine was 85....Lynne

04-01-2007, 10:38 PM
Without knowing exactly what the doc was measuring, I could guess its the RVAD - the angle of the rotation of the ribs - that is being measured. RVAD is the Rib Vertebral Angle Difference, first documented by M. Mehta in the early 70s. This measures and/or predicts the progressiveness of the curve by how rotated it is. Lots of variables involved, but that's the gist. Just something else to guess about? Good luck - I'd be calling to get a better explanation.

04-02-2007, 07:50 AM
Here's another interpretation and I'm sure you'll get more :D The doctor made a mistake! I was thinking along the same lines Linda was regarding kyphosis however it's hard to imagine a doctor failing to mention kyphosis and saying only that the scoliosis was minor. A scoliometer reading of 70 would be off the charts and the degree of curvature would reflect this. It's difficult to imagine an RVAD of 70 degrees with a minor scoliosis.

Here's a link to what a scoliometer looks like and the limit appears to be 30



04-02-2007, 04:43 PM
So, on a scoliometer, what would be considered a "large" rib hump? Mine was approximated at 12 degrees, although my doc just eyeballed it and didn't actually use the meter to measure it. I'm sure though that after looking at rib hump after rip hump he can make a fairly accurate guess. just wondering what any of you have been measured for your rib hump?

04-03-2007, 08:57 AM
Hi Abbie,

I'm not really sure what would be considered a large rib hump as rib humps are usually reflective of the degree of curvature although I have read of people with small curves having large rib humps - so that's kind of weird. About six months ago at my daughter's clinic appointment I asked what degree she was on the scoliometer and they said 4.5. Later, I found out a 5 on the scoliometer is indicative of a 20 degree curve. The measurement was taken without the brace. At this point she doesn't have much of a rib hump.


04-03-2007, 09:14 AM
Neither our local Dr., Dr. D'Andrea, Dr. Betz, or Dr. Ashgar in Philadelphia have ever measured Lorena's rib hump.

When I asked about it I was told it was there because of her scoliosis and since her surgery it's gone away.

I honestly never even thought it was something that was normally measured.


04-16-2007, 09:10 PM
sorry, haven't had a chance to write back....it was indeed a typo....70 should have read 7!!