Spine Thoracic

A Look at Patients with Spondylothoracic Dysplasia and Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome

Spondylothoracic dysplasia (SD) is an inherited condition that results in dwarfism (short trunk), a prominent back of the skull, broad forehead, and wide nasal bridge, also results in severe respiratory problems from thoracic insufficiency syndrome. The skeletal deformities (ribs and spine) compress the area where the lungs should expand, making it difficult to breathe.

We are just a little disappointed in the results of surgery our son had for Scheuermann's disease. At the time of the fusion, he was 16. Now at age 22, he has developed another curve above the fusion. What causes this to happen? Does it happen often?

Scheuermann's kyphosis is an excessive forward curvature of the thoracic spine. The thoracic spine is located midway between the neck and the lumbar spine (low back).

Scheuermann's kyphosis is an uncommon condition that begins in childhood. It affects less than one percent of the population. Boys and girls are affected equally. When it occurs, it is usually diagnosed by the time the child is 11 years old.

Our 16-year-old son is going to have spinal surgery for Scheuermann's disease. I know there are complications possible with any operation. What can happen after this one? My family thinks I worry too much. But I prefer to know what to expect and prepare for the worst.

Scheuermann's kyphosis is an abnormal forward curvature of the thoracic spine. Patients with this condition have a very rounded mid-back. They appear to be very stooped forward. Kyphosis is a term that refers to this position of the spine and resulting posture.

When the kyphosis is more than 70 degrees and getting worse, then surgery is considered. Back pain and cosmetic appearance are two other reasons to manage the problem operatively.

A Look Back at the Results of Surgery for Scheuermann's Kyphosis

In this study, surgeons take a look back and review the results of 78 patients who had surgery for Scheuermann's kyphosis. The results of this study provide updated outcomes using current implant systems and surgical techniques.

Our son has been treated with serial casting and now a body brace for Scheuermann's deformity. The curve continues to get worse. We've been told that surgery is the next step. How do we know when the best time is for surgery? Is it possible to wait too long? Operate too soon?

Scheuermann's kyphosis is the name given to a condition of increased rounding of the thoracic spine. Structural deformity of the vertebral bones is involved. As the spine curves forward, the front part of the vertebrae become wedge-shaped.

Other changes may also occur. The cartilage around the discs can get pushed up into the end-plate of the vertebral body. There is a distinctive change seen on X-rays to suggest when this has happened.

Update on Scheuermann's Kyphosis

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic provide this review and update on a condition called Scheuermann's kyphosis. Kyphosis refers to a forward rounding of the thoracic spine. The deformity was first described by Dr. Scheuermann based on X-ray findings.

I just found out my father is in the hospital with three vertebral compression fractures. The doctors are discussing whether or not to operate. Dad is very resistant to the idea. What would happen if he didn't have the surgery?

Vertebral compression fractures (VCFs)can be completely asymptomatic. Asymptomatic means there are no symptoms. The person doesn't even know they have the problem until it shows up on an X-ray. In such cases, there is no pain but deformity of the spine is possible. Over time, the shape of the spine changes because of the bone that is collapsed.

We just came from the orthopedic surgeon's office where my husband was told he has a vertebral compression fracture. He's going to have a vertebroplasty. The nurse reviewed all of the possible complications. It seemed like she talked the most about cement leakage. How often does this happen, and why is it such a problem?

Vertebroplasty is the injection of a liquid cement that hardens quickly and holds the bone together. The procedure is fairly simple but requires a skilled surgeon. Complications can occur if the cement leaks out of the bone and into the surrounding spaces.

The biggest problem occurs if the cement leaks into the area where the spinal cord or spinal nerves are located. In such cases, mild to severe neurologic damage can occur.

Fracture As a Complication of Kyphoplasty

Vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) are common in older adults who have osteoporosis (brittle bones). Treatment is usually conservative (nonoperative). But when pain persists, surgical procedures such as kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty may be advised.

Use of Image-Guided Technology in Spine Surgery

When the thoracic spine must be stabilized surgically, pedicle screws may be used. The pedicle is a portion of bone just below the facet joints of the spine. The pedicle connects the main body of the vertebra to the bony ring that protects the spinal cord. Using screws to hold the vertebrae in place is called instrumentation.

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