San Francisco Spine Surgeons

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What is Kyphosis?

Kyphosis is another type of spinal deformity treated at San Francisco Spine Surgeons. It usually involves deformity in the side plane (lateral plane) or viewing the patient from the side. Patients frequently complain of not being able to stand upright and also complain of falling forward. Sometimes, patients, have difficulty making horizontal gaze and have difficulty seeing what is in front of them.

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What are the Causes of Kyphosis?

Patients can end up with kyphosis for a number of different reasons. They can have a genetic predisposition for it and have the onset of kyphosis in adolescent years (so-called Scheuermann’s kyphosis), which is actually a research interest ours. We have published on Scheuermann’s kyphosis in the past. Another form of kyphosis can be congenital and related to spina bifida. This is a rare form of kyphosis, but is also a research interest of ours, and we have prior publications on surgical techniques for correction of spina bifida deformities.

The more frequent types of kyphosis would be a case of so-called flat back or fixed sagittal imbalance. Sometimes it is due to progressive disc degeneration, and sometimes it is due to prior surgery. Occasionally it is due to trauma and fracture.


Kyphosis Treatment

Whatever the cause, surgical correction usually is uniform. The patient’s spine needs to be rebalanced in both the side plane and the frontal plane. Usually, surgery for the correction of kyphosis is quite lengthy. It does require meticulous preoperative planning with full-length scoliosis radiographs on a 36″ cassette, an MRI to assess the integrity of the spinal cord and the nerves, and a preoperative CT to assist with robotic guidance for the surgery.

Surgery for the correction of kyphosis can be quite long, anywhere from 4 to 12 hours. It does require placement of surgical instrumentation, and at times requires blood transfusions and postoperative monitoring in the ICU. The results after surgical correction of kyphosis or flat-back deformity are very gratifying; however, it does take anywhere from six to twelve months for the patient to recover from the surgery.

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Kyphosis Treatment Before & After

scoliosis before and after photo san francisco scoliosis treatment san francisco
scoliosis before and after photo san francisco scoliosis treatment san francisco


San Francisco Spine Surgeons treats patients suffering from kyphosis in San Francisco, CA and surrounding areas. Contact us at (415) 750-5570 or fill out a Contact Form here.

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