Kyphoscoliosis: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Definition: is a musculoskeletal disorder.

It is a combination of kyphosis and scoliosis where there is abnormal posterior and lateral curvature of the spine in both the coronal and sagittal planes.

Kyphoscoliosis commonly causes other problems, such as pulmonary hypertension, insufficient ventilation of the lungs, psychological problems, such as anxiety, difficulty performing activities of daily living.

Kyphoscoliosis can also occur in other medical conditions, such as Friedreich’s ataxia, syringomyelia, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy due to the asymmetric weakening of the parapental muscles.

Kyphoscoliosis that occurs during the growth period without any obvious cause is mediated by idiopathic kyphoscoliosis. Diseases of the spinal muscles and vertebrae also cause kyphoscoliosis.

Signs and Symptoms of Cichoscoliosis

In some mild cases of Cifoescoliosis, patients may be asymptomatic.

The patient suffering from this condition has an abnormal spine. The spine has the shape of the alphabet S or C; apart:

  • The length of the arms and legs is not the same and is unequal.
  • The patient with kyphoscoliosis has other associated health problems, such as neurological disorders and hypertension.
  • The patient walks with an abnormal gait.
  • The patient also suffers from back pain.
  • Due to the deformity of the kyphoscoliosis, the height of the patient is shortened.
  • There is deterioration in the movements of the chest wall. There are signs of stiffness in the chest wall together with restriction in the lung volumes.
  • There is an increase in ventilation and small volumes of airflow, because the patient also suffers from hypoventilation.
  • Significant distortion of the thorax and spine that can be seen on chest x-rays.
  • There is mismatch of vertebrae that causes significant hypoxia and can lead to cor pulmonale symptoms.
  • There are changes in the position of the mediastinum because there is an increase in regional changes in respiratory sounds, which can be heard during a physical examination.
  • Pulmonary function tests show a restrictive defect.


  1. Kyphoscoliosis caused by congenital anomalies: Kyphoscoliosis can occur for various causes in a patient at different stages of his life. Kyphoscoliosis can be present from the very birth of congenital defects, such as spina bifida.
  2. Kyphoscoliosis caused by infections: There are certain infections, such as general tuberculosis or spinal tuberculosis, which can also lead to the development of kyphoscoliosis.
  3. Kyphoscoliosis caused by abnormal posture: Sometimes, a person can also develop this due to poor posture for prolonged periods of time. This causes an abnormal curvature of the spine.
  4. Kyphoscoliosis caused by chronic degenerative diseases: Patients can also develop kyphoscoliosis in adulthood due to chronic degenerative diseases, such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. People over 50 are at greater risk of developing these types of conditions, which occur mainly due to structural changes in the spine and adjacent tissues.
  5. Kyphoscoliosis caused by bone disorders: Osseous and cartilage disorders, such as osteochondrodysplasia, can also cause kyphoscoliosis.
  6. Kyphoscoliosis caused by injury: In some cases, a traumatic injury to the spine or back can also lead to the development of this condition.
  7. Kyphoscoliosis due to Unknown Causes: In some cases, cyphoscoliosis occurs due to idiopathic reasons where the exact cause of its development is not known.
  8. It is believed to develop as a result of genetic factors. In such cases, it is known as idiopathic kyphoscoliosis.


The treatment of kyphoscoliosis comprises the following:

  1. The treatment of kyphoscoliosis includes exercises, physical therapy, and surgical correction in severe cases. Kyphoscoliosis is also known as scoliocytosis in some cases.
  2. Physiotherapy Treatment for Kyphoscoliosis: Physical therapy can be done when the spinal curvature is mild, that is, if it is less than 50 to 55 degrees of kyphosis and if it is less than 30 degrees of scoliosis with the underlying cause of poor posture.

In such cases, physiotherapy is beneficial and is the first line of treatment. Physical therapy can also be done for other reasons to prevent the development of abnormal spinal curvatures, which can occur in elderly patients suffering from degenerative cartilage and bone disease.

The goal of physical therapy is to strengthen the vertebral tissues to correct the curvature of the spine, as much as possible and also to prevent further damage to the spine.

Orthopedic devices: Orthotics can be used and are beneficial for treatment when the underlying cause of the deformity is poor posture, which is detected before the initiation of the bone growth phase.

They help supporting the muscles and bones, along with the application of corrective pressure to the spine, which helps in reducing the abnormal curvature.

The devices used must be designed to be effective in both the abnormal curvatures present in the coronal and sagittal planes (ie, scoliosis and kyphosis).

It is important to maintain daily compliance with the use of orthopedic devices during the period recommended by the doctor.

In some cases, orthopedic equipment can become psychologically and physiologically limiting, particularly in adolescents.

Surgical Treatment

Kyphoscoliosis means that the patient suffers from both types of curvature deformities, which are scoliosis and kyphosis.

The selected treatment option depends on several factors such as the age of the patient, the underlying cause (congenital, postural) and the risks involved in the surgery.

Surgery should be done in severe cases where the extent of the deformity is large which results in discomfort for physiological functions, such as digestion and breathing along with the patient’s daily activities.

Surgery is also considered if other treatment options are not beneficial and the deformity is cosmetically unacceptable to the patient.

Surgery is also done if the patient is at an age when other treatment options, such as braces and physical therapy, are not effective.