Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Upper Spine FAQ

Question:

My dear uncle had a farming accident several years ago and broke his back. It happened during the harvest. He didn't take any time off and just kept right on working. I notice his upper back is starting to curve forward badly. Is it too late to do something to help him?

Answer:

Maybe not. An orthopedic surgeon would need to see him and evaluate his situation. A clinical exam along with X-rays will help identify the problem and possible solutions.

Kyphosis or forward curvature of the spine can occur after injury to the spine, especially if there's been a fracture that wasn't treated properly. This type of post-traumatic deformity can be improved with surgery to fuse the spine.

The surgeon may have to remove any badly broken, compressed, or deformed vertebral bones. Bone graft is used to fill in the empty hole. Titanium plates and screws or a dual rod system is used to hold the spine in place until fusion is complete.

Correction of the curve is easier with better results if done early after the injury. But even when delayed, patients report good results. They have less pain, better function, and fewer neurologic symptoms. Í. Teoman Benli, MD, et al. Minimum 5-Year Follow-up Surgical Results of Post-Traumatic Thoracic and Lumbar Kyphosis Treated with Anterior Instrumentation. In Spine. April 20, 2007. Vol. 32. No. 9. Pp. 986-994.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
All content provided by eORTHOPOD® is a registered trademark of Medical Multimedia Group, L.L.C.. Content is the sole property of Medical Multimedia Group, LLC and used herein by permission.

Our Specialties

Where Does It Hurt?

Our Locations

  Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow us on YouTube
Follow us on Twitter