The impact of breast size on the vertebral column: a radiologic study

Aesthetic Plast Surg. Jan-Feb 2007;31(1):23-7. doi: 10.1007/s00266-006-0178-5.


Background: Macromastia usually is associated with the physical and psychological symptoms reported comprehensively by many studies. Reduction mammoplasty seems to be the most reasonable solution for these symptoms, and many articles have reported improvement of these complaints after surgery. Some authors have postulated that the anatomic mechanisms of postural aberrations are heavy breasts and related pain symptoms. However, limited numbers of studies have tried to explain the effect of the heavy breasts on the vertebral column.

Methods: This study enrolled 100 females in four groups according to their breast cup sizes (groups A, B, C, D). All four groups were compared with each other statistically using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by a post hoc test according to the body mass index (BMI) as well as the thoracic kyphosis, lumbar lordosis, and sacral inclination angles.

Results: The BMI was significantly higher in the D cup-sized breast group. There was a statistically significant difference between groups A and D in terms of the thoracic kyphosis and the lumbar lordosis angles, and between groups B and D in terms of the lumbar lordosis angle. No statistically significant difference was detected between the groups in terms of the sacral inclination angle.

Conclusion: Breast size seems to be an important factor that affects posture, especially the thoracic kyphosis and lumbar lordosis angles.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Breast / anatomy & histology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kyphosis / etiology*
  • Lordosis / etiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size
  • Posture*