Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What is a spine deformation?"
My grandmother has a very bad hunch that is getting worse. Is this a deformation? Should it be treated?
The type of spine deformity that your grandmother likely has is called kyphosis, also called a hunch back. There are many causes of this problem, many of which begin early in life. For those people that develop this issue later in life (especially women), it is often due to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease where people lose density in their bones. It mostely effects women after they have gone through menopause, and they lose the estrogen that their bones were using to stay dense. These patient's bones become more brittle which results in small fractures and deformities in the spine. Overtime, this can result in reduction in height and bending of the spine resulting in kyphosis. The best thing to do for kyphosis is to encourage good posture, and to treat the osteoporosis as aggressively as possible. The type of physician that your grandmother should be seeing regularly is her primary care physician (family doctor or internal medicine doctor). It is this doctor's job to make sure that if your grandmother has osteoporosis, that it is being treated optimally. If this is being done, then unfortunately, this is the best type of treatment for kyphosis in elderly women with osteoporosis. I hope that helped answer your question.