View Full Version : Do I have Kyphosis?

05-07-2007, 02:07 PM
(I'm new here [hi! :) ] and I wasn't sure which subforum to post to, but this one appears to be the most active. Please forgive me that I'm not actually in the queue for any surgery just yet.)

Hi. I looked normal as a child, but around adolescence (I'm now 39, male) I began to be teased about my posture. Kids began to call me "old man" because of the way I walked.

Here's an attempt to describe how I look: My back is fairly straight and normal looking until you get up to around my neck and shoulders. At that point, instead of my neck going straight up, it goes forward and up.

Another description: Picture yourself jutting your head down and forward to avoid a bullet shot over you, and this is kind of what I look like all the time.

After standing or walking for a while, or sitting and reading for a while, I have always developed pain where my neck meets my shoulders.

My head is always kind of pointed down when I walk. I used to get asked: "Why are you looking down while you walk?"

It never occurred to me until the last few years that this might have a name: Kyphosis?

Do I have kyphosis, or is kyphosis something else?

At my age, can an operation be performed to lengthen, and straighten, my neck?

What would this operation involve, and what are the risks? Is paralysis a risk?

Thank you,

05-07-2007, 02:32 PM

Welcome to this subforum. I think you will find much helpful information in the various posts, many of which are from persons who have not yet scheduled surgery.

Your description of your head jutting forward is the same as some of my symptoms. My kyphosis kicked in at adolescence, but I received no treatment then. In recent years the progression of my thoracic spine has increased significantly, along with cervical and lumbar disk dessication, osteoporosis, etc.

For years I was told by my internists, physiatrists and other doctors that there was nothing to be done to stop the progression or reduce the curve. Meanwile I lost 4" height in about 12 years. I finally decided to ignore those docs and began my own research and have since consulted with several spine specialists, all of whom told me that there are surgical procedures to reduce the curves and stabilize my spine to prevent further curve progression.

I strongly recommend you schedule a consultation with 2 or 3 doctors who specialize in spine surgery, to answer your questions and learn what / if treatments are recommended. As one ages, surgery and recuperation are more difficult and the degree of correction will not be as good. Please do not be deterred by doctors and others who might tell you "nothing can be done" - that simply is not true.

Good luck and keep us posted.