Scheuermann's disease


Scheuermann's disease is a deforming back disorder. Nearly 100 years ago, the Danish radiologist and orthopedist Holger Werfel Scheuermann was the first person to describe the clinical picture of a characteristic curvature of the spine during adolescence. Depending on their severity, those affected may be hunched and suffer from pain and restricted mobility as adults. With early treatment, however, the symptoms of Scheuermann's disease can usually be dealt with well. Read all important information about Scheuermann's disease here.

ICD codes for this disease: ICD codes are internationally valid medical diagnosis codes. They are found e.g. in medical reports or on incapacity certificates. M42Article OverviewMorbus Scheuermann

  • description
  • symptoms
  • Causes and risk factors
  • Examinations and diagnosis
  • treatment
  • Disease course and prognosis

Scheuermann's disease: description

Scheuermann's disease refers to a relatively frequent juvenile growth disorder of the spine, which is mostly on chest occurs (thoracic), rare in the lumbar region (lumbar). Boys are much more affected than girls. The severity of Scheuermann's disease differs from case to case.

Structure of the spine

To understand what happens in Scheuermann's disease, one has to know the structure of the spine. Roughly simplified, they can be thought of as stacked cubes (vertebral bodies), between which are elastic buffers (intervertebral discs). The stack is by no means straight. From the side he has one double "S" shape, Like every structure of the human body, the spine also has to grow synchronously with children and adolescents. In Scheuermann's disease, however, this happens unevenly, so that the vertebral body a wrong shape accept.

How does Scheuermann's disease work?

In terms of the cube model, this means that the front edge of the cube looking towards the chest / abdomen grows more slowly than the backward (dorsal) edge. As a result, the vertebral body takes the form of a wedge, which points with the tip to the ventral side.

Therefore, in the context of Scheuermann's disease, so-called wedge vertebrae the speech. If now several such Keilwirbel lie one above the other, this causes a pathological curvature of the spine. Although a slight, backward curvature (kyphosis) is normal in the thoracic vertebrae, but in Scheuermann's disease it is often too large. In such cases, one speaks of one hyperkyphosis.

If the lumbar region is affected, Scheuermann's disease causes a weakening of the natural forward curvature (lordosis) of the spine, in rare cases, the severity of the disease is so strong that kyphosis also arises here. In addition to the backward curvature, it can also lead to a lateral curvature of the spine, which one scoliosis is called.

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Scheuermann's disease: symptoms

Scheuermann's disease can be very different. Sometimes it causes no noticeable symptoms at first and is only incidental. In more severe cases, however, sufferers suffer:

  • a pronounced humpback respectively hunchback, Most of the shoulders fall forward too.
  • movement restrictionsespecially when trying to turn your upper body.
  • PainAbout what about one-fifth of teenagers complain. The symptoms often develop later.
  • strong mental stress because of the aesthetic aspect.

If deformities of the spine lead to a strongly curved posture, Scheuermann's disease can also cause respiratory problems. late effects The disease can cause pain and postural disorders as well neurological symptoms such as paresthesia be at certain body parts. These are caused by pressure on the nerve tracts that are responsible for the sensory reports. Morbus Scheuermann patients are also more likely to Herniated discs in the area of ​​the lumbar spine. These complications occurring later are summarized under the term "post-Scheuermann syndrome".

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Scheuermann's disease: causes and risk factors

What ultimately triggers a Scheuermann's disease, you do not know exactly. It seems one though hereditary component to give it because the disease occurs familial. So can be a general less capacity the vertebral body are present, as well congenital anomalies at the edge strips. Also Vitamin deficiency syndromes can play a role.

Furthermore, there are certain risk factorsthat promote Scheuermann's disease:

  • long bowed sitting with an increased bending load for the spine.
  • a weak back muscles.
  • sportsin which it is too strong Upsetting and turning loads for the spine comes (martial arts, ball sports, running on a hard surface).

Due to these factors, especially the vertebral bodies of the lower thoracic spine are increasingly loaded on their front side. Under certain circumstances, damage to the floor and cover plates may occur, which may affect the growth zones of the vertebrae. The result is an uneven growth - it develops the full picture of a Scheuermann disease.

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Scheuermann's disease: examinations and diagnosis

First, the doctor needs to ask important questions medical history to limit the symptoms and to exclude diseases with a similar appearance as Scheuermann's disease. It is also important when and in which area the pain has started, if any. Also the pain character (dull, stinging, constant or movement-dependent) is important. At the same time the doctor is looking for functional limitations and neurological symptoms. Important information on illness-promoting factors can give questions about professional, sports and leisure activities.

This is followed by the physical examination at which the spine shape, mobility and intensity of pain can already be assessed. This also determines the severity of Scheuermann's disease. The clinical picture is then confirmed with diagnostic equipment (especially X-ray examinations). The so-called Cobb angle, which can be determined from the X-ray images on the basis of the vertebral body positions, describes the extent of the curvature. This value is also for the process control very important.

In individual cases can also MRI (MRI) - and Computed Tomography (CT) are used.

Occasionally, a Scheuermann's disease comes out by chance in another investigation, such as a lung x-ray.