Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Kyphosis

Kyphosis can be present at birth or have one of several causes, including:

  • Fractures in the spine caused by osteoporosis
  • Injury (trauma) to the spine
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spondylolisthesis (slipped disc)

Other diseases can cause kyphosis, including:

  • Connective tissue diseases
  • Certain endocrine diseases
  • Infections, such as tuberculosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Paget’s disease
  • Polio
  • Spina bifida
  • Spinal tumors
  • Scoliosis

Adolescents can suffer from a form of kyphosis called Scheuermann's disease, in which several bones of the spine (vertebrae) are wedged together.


Your physician will conduct a physical examination to determine the nature of the curvature of your spine, and will also look for any underlying problems associated with it. Some additional diagnostic tests may include:

  • X-ray of the spine
  • MRI
  • Pulmonary function tests, in case breathing is affected