Kyphosis & Scoliosis

Kyphosis – Scoliosis

What is scoliosis?


Scoliosis is the lateral inclination of the spine beyond the normal (10 degrees), which causes its three-dimensional deformation.

The etiology of scoliosis is unspecified, but it certainly seems that the problems caused by scoliosis can be related to chronic musculoskeletal pain syndromes, skeletal deformity and burden on the cardiorespiratory system.

Classification of scoliosis

Based on the cause of scoliosis, it is divided into idiopathic (80% of scoliosis), where the cause is unknown and secondary (20% of scoliosis), where a specific cause is identified (osteoporosis, neuromuscular diseases, rheumatic diseases, etc.).

Based on the age of onset, scoliosis is classified as follows

  1. 0-3 years old, infant
  2. 3-9 years old, children
  3. 9-18 years old, adolescent
  4. Scoliosis in people >18 years of age is usually due to either the onset of scoliosis at a younger age or to secondary scoliosis.

Diagnosis of scoliosis

The diagnosis of scoliosis can be made by clinical examination by a specialist (orthopedist, physiatrist, pediatrician). The doctor can then proceed with a further outpatient examination, which may include plain radiographs and the telemetry method to detect the structure and motility of the spine.

Treatment of scoliosis

The treatment of scoliosis starts from the early diagnosis and the complete evaluation of the problem. It is appropriate for the treatment to be designed for each patient individually and to take into account the concomitant diseases and their peculiarities.
The therapeutic methods that are usually used are:
a) A suitable therapeutic guardian, the use of whose main purpose is to stop the progression of the disease and a further deformity. The patient undergoes a special, easy measurement and the guardian is made based on the measurement data and according to the doctor’s instructions.
b) Special exercise program. The program is compiled by the doctor and is individualized, to target the needs and capabilities of each patient.
c) Treatment of any concomitant diseases.
d) Surgery in some severe cases.

In conclusion

Scoliosis is a common condition that affects almost all age groups. Various other diseases, such as osteoporosis, can complicate scoliosis and worsen the condition. Early detection and proper treatment of the disease are necessary in order to prevent a potentially serious problem but also to improve the quality of life of patients.


Konstantinos Tzitzikostas
Physiatrist Rehabilitation doctor


What is kyphosis?

Kyphosis is a condition in which the human back (the thoracic spine) shows increased curvature (hump).
Kyphosis is divided into two major groups: juvenile and middle-aged – elderly

Juvenile kyphosis is a pathological entity also called Scheuermann disease and the real cause is heredity. It is often combined with scoliosis and is characterized as kyphoscoliosis. But there is also the benign adolescent kyphosis in which the main cause is the posture especially in girls where they want to hide their breasts.

Kyphosis of middle-aged and elderly people is usually due to the wedge-shaped deformity of the thoracic vertebrae due to osteoporosis and is more common in postmenopausal women.
The diagnosis of the disease is made with a clinical examination by an orthopedic doctor and a radiological examination to evaluate the curvature and the possible etiology. Excessive curvature in the middle-aged can be a cause of respiratory failure as well as gastroesophageal reflux.

Treatment in most cases is non-invasive depending on age and etiology with the use of stretching exercises, physiotherapy, special splints and guardians. In rare cases of large kyphosis, surgeries such as spinal ligation and kyphoplasty are performed.


Ioannis Chiotis,

Orthopedic Surgeon