Evidence Based Medicine: Analysis of Scheuermann Kyphosis

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Study Design.A review of the current literature using evidence-based medicine (EBM) regarding etiology, natural history, and treatment of Scheuermann kyphosis.Objective.To provide current concepts for the rational evaluation and treatment of Scheuermann kyphosis supported by EBM.Summary of Background Data.The literature concerning etiology, natural history, and treatment of Scheuermann disease has mixed views and recommendations, most of which are not strongly supported with levels of evidence.Methods.A thorough database search was performed in order to obtain the best current information and levels of evidence on etiology, natural history, and treatment options for Scheuermann kyphosis based on EBM criteria.Results and Conclusion.Scheuermann kyphosis is the most common cause of hyperkyphosis in adolescence. Its true etiology remains unknown, but there appears to be a strong genetic as well as an environmental contribution. The kyphotic deformity is frequently attributed to “poor posture” resulting in delayed diagnosis, and treatment indications remain debated because the natural history has not been clearly defined. When recognized early in adolescence with progressive kyphosis, bracing treatment will usually result in modest correction of the deformity. Symptomatic adolescents with severe deformity have demonstrated significant deformity correction following surgical intervention; however, clinical outcomes data are not yet available, and the studies available do not have strong levels of evidence.

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