Scheuermann's Disease

Semin Musculoskelet Radiol. 2023 Oct;27(5):522-528. doi: 10.1055/s-0043-1771334. Epub 2023 Oct 10.


Scheuermann's disease is a rigid progressive kyphosis occurring in late childhood to adolescence. It is the most common cause of sagittal imbalance and angular progressive kyphosis in adolescents associated with back pain. The exact etiology of the disease is unclear, but it is characterized by defective growth of the end plate that may result from excessive mechanical stress on a weakened end plate during spinal growth. Several other theories have been proposed, and it is thought to be a multifactorial disease occurring as a result of the interplay of multiple factors. The radiographic features consist of anterior vertebral body wedging, irregular end plates, Schmorl's nodes, and intervertebral disk degeneration. The natural history and evolution of this disease is also unknown. Conservative management with physiotherapy, rehabilitation, and bracing is the first line of treatment. Mechanical bracing helps prevent further progression of the kyphotic deformity. Surgery is mostly indicated in patients with failure of conservative management, with neurologic compromise, and for cosmetic reasons.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Scheuermann Disease* / complications
  • Scheuermann Disease* / diagnostic imaging
  • Scheuermann Disease* / therapy
  • Spine