Scoliosis and Kyphosis

Our spines curve naturally. If you look at yourself in the mirror from the side, you’ll see that your neck (the cervical spine) curves slightly inwards, your mid back (the thoracic spine) curves outwards, and your low back (the lumbar spine) curves inwards. If you look at your spine from the front or the back, it should appear straight.

Brain and Spine Illustration

A typical spine, showing the spine’s natural curves

Sometimes, the natural curves in our spines become bigger or smaller than they should be, or the curves may even start to curve in the wrong direction. These different types of curves cause spinal deformities. If your spine curves from side to side, this is called scoliosis. If thoracic spine begins to curve excessively outwards (giving a hunchback appearance) this is called kyphosis, while an excessive inward curve in the neck or lumbar spine is known as hyper-lordosis.

Spinal deformities are often mild, and often do not require surgery. In fact, many people have mild spinal deformities, and their friends and family are not even aware of them. However, some deformities do progress to a stage where they need to be corrected by surgery. The good news is that in the last 35 years there have been incredible advances in spinal deformity surgery. Today, surgeons like Dr. Rahman, can correct spinal deformities far better, and with less pain and shorter recovery times, than we’d dreamt possible just a few years ago.

The links on the left side of this page take you to articles that provide all you need to know about different deformities and their treatment. Or, take a look at the videos (see the link at bottom of this page), that give a visual explanation of spinal deformities.

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