View Full Version : Hyperkyphosis vs. Lordosis...same or different?

05-23-2008, 11:51 PM
Can someone please tell me if Hyperkyphosis is the same as Lordosis in the thoracic spine?

To my understanding, Lordosis in the thoracic region is when the spine sways INTO the chest cavity, and kyphosis is when it sways the opposite way (away from the chest cavity), causing a visible hump or hunchback look. One surgeon referred to my daughter's "swaying into the chest cavity" of her thoracic spine as Hyperkyphosis, & another called it Lordosis. Which is which & are they different or the same??

Thanks in advance!

05-24-2008, 12:38 AM
I would think that "hyperkyphosis" would be an exaggeration of the natural kyphotic curve of the spine, which curves away from the chest cavity... but I'm no doctor- maybe your surgeon was just using the term casually to describe your daughter or maybe he said hyPOkyphosis and you didn't hear him right. Either way, it doesn't really matter if they are both referring to the same deformity just using different words... a bit frustrating but I'm sure they know what they are talking about if they are specializing in scoliosis or kyphosis type deformities,


05-24-2008, 10:10 AM

The thoracic spine is supposed to have a gentle outward curve viewed from the side (away from the chest cavity). This is a normal thoracic kyphosis. If there is not enough curve, i.e. the thoracic vertebrae are very straight up and down, that is referred to as thoracic hypokyphosis. This is apparently very common in scoliosis patients... I have it and so does my daughter. Thoracic lordosis is if the natural outward curve is actually reversed, curving into the chest cavity. This can reduce lung capacity as well as putting added stress on the spine.

Hyperkyphosis is basically the opposite of thoracic lordosis--think hunched over or humpback. You can search Google Images for x-ray examples and diagrams of these various terms. I had to do this recently to understand my daughter's back.

I am sure your daughter's surgeon can clarify this for you.

Good luck,


05-24-2008, 12:12 PM
Hi Martha...

This should help:

Kyphosis/Lordosis Drawing (http://www.eorthopod.com/images/ContentImages/spine/spine_thoracic/scheuermanns/thoracic_scheuermanns_anatomy01.jpg)


05-24-2008, 02:41 PM
Thank you Linda, Gayle, & Abbie!