Osteoporosis is a bone condition that commonly results in hunchbacks. People with Osteoporosis suffer from bone loss primarily in their upper spine (thoracic spine). Eventually, the bone breaks, causes back pain, reduces height, and leads to Kyphosis (hunched posture).
We may all know people, especially elderly women, who have fractured a bone such as the hip after falling in the kitchen or washroom and breaking it. Moreover, you may have noticed that some elderly women in your family or in your close circle walk bending forward with a hunchback or have become shorter.
Most of these stories related to the elderly women are often diagnosed with Osteoporosis, which is typically associated with another condition called “Kyphosis.”
“Osteoporosis” and “Kyphosis or hunchback.”
Osteoporosis is a bone disease where the bones become weak and brittle, which makes them break easily. Kyphosis is a progressive disorder in which the upper back curves forward due to the deformation of the spine. Osteoporosis is a common cause of Kyphosis development, often called “hunchback or Dowager’s hump.”
Post menopause and deficiency of calcium in the diet are the most common causes of bone loss in women.
Following menopause, bone loss becomes more obvious because estrogen levels drop, resulting in weak and fragile bones. This is the reason why women are more likely to develop Osteoporosis. In addition, as we age, the ability of our body to create new bone structures slows down. As a result of this, new bone is not formed at the pace your body requires.
Calcium is an important nutrient required for bone development, and it can be obtained from your regular diet sources or supplements. When you fail to take sufficient calcium, your body will the calcium stored in the bones, which eventually makes your bones weak and results in bone loss.
Why do people with Osteoporosis get Kyphosis?
The collapse of the vertebral bones (neck bones) due to Osteoporosis is the common reason for developing Kyphosis or hunchback. Although women are more commonly affected by this condition, it is also seen in men.
The vertebral bones in your spinal column become weak over time due to Osteoporosis, which puts them at high risk of fracture. Wedge-shaped fractures and vertebral compression leads to vertebra collapse in the front. Due to this, the height of the vertebra at the front decreases but mostly remains the same at the back. This uneven bone loss causes the spine to bend in a forward posture. This excessive forward curvature of the spine is called Kyphosis.
How Osteoporosis and hunchback are treated? Is there any cure?
In most cases, Kyphosis can be treated successfully. The main purpose of the treatment is to correct the abnormal spinal curvature and prevent complications that may arise in the future. In the olden days kyphosis is termed as dowager hump, a curvature of the upper spine that appears rounded or hunched.
The treatment ranges from medication to surgery in severe cases if necessary. Doctors might suggest taking calcium and vitamin supplements to improve bone health and strength. Physical activities like exercise play an important role in osteoporosis management. For some people, to manage pain, doctors suggest pain medication or steroid injections are given directly into the joints.
Medication and other supplements are also provided as part of treatment to prevent bone loss in the future and to promote new bone mass. Aside from treating Osteoporosis or any other underlying cause, surgical interventions may also be recommended to treat the hunchback.
Teriparatide is an effective anabolic agent that helps to treat back pain-related functional limitations in patients with severe osteoporosis.
Denosumab injection (Prolia) is one of the treatment options for osteoporosis caused due to the usage of corticosteroid medications or when other medication fail to treat osteoporosis.
A spinal fracture caused by osteoporosis is often referred to as a vertebral compression fracture which is also called osteoporotic fracture, or osteoporotic wedge compression fracture. Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty are the common treatment options used to treat these compression fractures.
For More Details Read: Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty Surgery in Hyderabad
Other treatment options:
- Braces to correct the posture
- Surgery to repair spinal fractures
- Realignment of spinal structure in case of congenital Kyphosis
Generally, mild forward posture might not cause any complications, but severe hunchback might have adverse effects on other internal organs, like the lungs. It can also affect the abdomen, which may also appear as if it is pushing forward. In addition, as the severity of the condition increases, it compresses nerves, muscles, tendons, and ligaments leading to other medical problems.
Treatment for Kyphosis often depends on many factors like the progression of the condition, age of the patient, other complications caused, and the patient’s general health.
Not only Osteoporosis but many other factors can also cause Kyphosis. Fortunately, Kyphosis can be treated, and taking certain steps can even prevent Kyphosis. For more detailed information or looking for kyphosis treatment in Hyderabad, consult Dr. Surya Prakash, one of the best spine doctors in Hyderabad. He has more than two decades of experience in treating spine problems like Kyphosis, Osteoporosis, Scoliosis, etc.