Scheuermans decease


The back is constructed of box-like vertebrae which are held in place partly with the help of the shape of the bones, partly by ligaments and partly by the large and small back and stomach muscles.


  1. Vertebra prominens
  2. Vertebra coccygea I
  3. Promontorium
  4. L I
  5. Th I
  6. Axis


Cause: Scheuermann’s disease occurring in approximately 4% of the population (article). A curvature of the back occurs (bending over forwards) due to the vertebrae becoming wedge shaped. There are also characteristic x-ray finds. The cause of the condition is unknown, but evidence tends to suggest that the condition is hereditary (article).

Symptoms: Back curvature localised high in the back (thoracal Scheuermann) gives often only few, if any, symptoms. Back curvature localised in the lower back (thoracolumbal or lumbal Scheuermann) does entail back pain for the majority (article).

Examination: The diagnosis is usually made following a medical examination supplemented with an x-ray (at least 3 adjacent vertebrae with at least 5 degrees wedge form, Schmorlske impressions, flattening of discs, irregular end plates) (article). The crooked back is often mistaken in the beginning for “bad posture”. In some cases, CT or MRI scanning is recommended.

Treatment: The vast majority of cases can be treated with training, attempting to maintain the mobility of the back, counteract the curvature tendency and strengthen the stomach and back muscles. A corset can in some cases be used until the young person is fully grown. An operation can be performed only in very rare cases. The condition has a good prognosis (article), and even after an operation it is still possible to take part in many different forms of sport (article).

Complications: In some cases a crooked back can have other causes (infection, nerve disease, inborn bone change, rheumatic illness, bone disease, metabolic disorder).