Kyphosis is an abnormal outward curve in the upper spine. This produces a rounding in the upper back sometimes called “hunchback.” It can occur on its own or be present with scoliosis.

The spine has a natural curve to it to allow people to stand upright and provide balance. A slight outward curve (called kyphosis) in the upper spine is normal. This should measure anywhere from 20 to45 degrees. Curves more than 50 degrees are considered abnormal. This excessive curve is called “hyperkyphosis.” The term “kyphosis” has come to be used on these abnormal curves.


Kyphosis can occur at any age. It is more common among teens this is a time when bones grow quickly.

Kyphosis can range from mild to severe. Mild cases may not cause any symptoms. They may not need treatment. More severe cases may result in a significant hump on the back. These cases may require surgery.

It is important to identify a curve in the spine early on. If treatment is needed, it can begin as early as possible. If treatment is not needed right away, your doctor will have a record of the curve. They can watch for changes as your child grows.