Scheuermann's disease, or juvenile kyphosis or avascular necrosis of the spine is a disease of the spine as a result of which a slow bending of the spine occurs to the back in the lumbar area.
Characteristic of Scheuermann's disease
In the course of this disease , the death of bone tissue occurs, caused by the impaired blood supply to the particular area of spine. This tissue is regenerated, however, it leads to the deformation of the bones (vertebrae), namely the wedging shape of the vertebral bodies and intervertebral discs, which results in a deformation of the spine in a form of significantly increased kyphosis.
What cause Scheuermann's disease
This disease affects about 1% of young people between 10 and 14 years of age, both boys and girls. The cause of Scheuermann's disease is not fully understood yet:
- It is believed that one of the factors of its occurrence may be genetic.
- Scheuermann, from whose name, the name of the disease was created. Scheuermann said that the cause is the necrosis of the vertebral discs, which are the cause of distortion, which in turn result from uneven load. Scheuermann's theory was confirmed by radiological studies
- The cause of Scheuermann's disease may be inflammatory factors associated with other diseases
- There are also several theses which say that the cause of the Scheuermann's disease can be accumulated and repeated trauma and microtrauma, as well as intensive sport at a young age
- What is more, a few other reasons are mentioned:
- lack of vitamin A
- diseases in the muscle area
- endocrine disorders
Fig.1 Scheuermann's disease
Scheuermann disease usually develops slowly and its course lasts about three years. One of the first noticeable symptoms of Scheuermann's disease is a postural deformity involving the higher degree of kyphosis and bowing of the back, seen as a slouching postures. These symptoms can be accompanied by:
- the limited mobility of the spine
- back pain
- rapid fatigue of the trunk muscles
The pain usually occurs as a result of a long-term stay in a seated or standing position, but also during prolonged walking.
In a patient with symptoms, the X-ray examination is performed in order to confirm the diagnosis, because the changes developed in the spine area are visible in radiographic images. In very advanced stages of the disease the substantially rounding of the upper back may appear, which can, in turn, exert pressure on the chest and abdomen, and , consequently, on the heart, lungs and stomach. This may cause pain, shortness of breath, and disorders of the digestive system.
Fig. 2 Spine with scoliosis
Form of the Scheuermann's disease
Since Scheuermann's disease is characterized by the death of bone and cartilage tissue, it belongs to the group of avascular necrosis. Depending on the location of its occurrence, the three forms of the disease can be distinguished:
- the chest form - occurring most frequently, characterized by the round back;
- the thoracolumbar form - in the course which the flat back is observed;
- the lumbar form - occurring least frequently , in the course of which the flat back is also observed.
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The spine is actually a base that keeps the bone structure. Remember that prevention is always better than curing. The key to inhibit distortion is an immediate reaction to the first symptoms. Pain ailments in the spine should never be underestimated. The condition is undoubtedly affected by regular exercise, a healthy diet that provides the building blocks of bones and cartilage, and even change in daily habits. In order to determine a safe physical activity, it is best to consult a physiotherapist or rehabilitant, who will choose special exercises, taking into account the physical condition and possibilities of the patient.