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Scheuermann's disease is a condition in which one or more of the bones of the spine (vertebrae) develop wedge-shaped deformities. This causes curvature of the spine (rounding of the back, or kyphosis), most commonly in the chest region.
The curvature may become permanent if it is not corrected within 6 to 9 months. But bracing often prevents further progression of the disease and may improve the existing curvature. Exercises and good posture can also be helpful. Surgery is occasionally needed.
Scheuermann's disease occurs most often in growing teens ages 12 to 16 and is more common in boys than girls. The cause is unknown. It is usually not serious but treatment may be needed if the problem is severe.
Last Revised: August 5, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
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