Outward Signs of Kyphosis in Children

Kyphosis is a spine abnormality that may be present at birth (congenital) or may develop later due to neuromuscular disorders, bone or spinal conditions or metabolic problems. The condition is more common in girls than in boys, according to the University of Virginia Health System. Many cases of kyphosis are diagnosed during a routine physical examination because children may not show any outward signs. Some symptoms, however, could indicate the presence of this condition.

Back Abnormalities

A child’s spine should appear straight when viewed from behind. A child with kyphosis may show a forward curvature in the upper back or even the appearance of a hump or hunchback, as explained by the University of Virginia Health System. Her head might bend forward compared to the rest of her body, and she might have a slouching posture. There may be rounding of the shoulders, a difference in shoulder height, or a difference in shoulder blade height or position. When the child bends forward, the height of her upper back looks higher than it normally would.

Pain and Fatigue

If your child has kyphosis, he may show signs of mild back pain, tenderness or stiffness, according to Seattle Children’s Hospital. The condition also may lead him to experience obvious fatigue and tiredness.

Leg Effects

Tight muscles in the back thigh (hamstrings) also are sometimes associated with kyphosis in children, as noted by the University of Virginia Health System. The child may show signs of leg pain, although this is less common than the other signs.

About this Author

Shelley Moore is a journalist and award-winning short story writer. She specializes in writing about personal development, health, careers and personal finance. Moore has been published in “Family Circle” magazine and the “Milwaukee Sentinel” newspaper, along with numerous other national and regional magazines, daily and weekly newspapers and corporate publications. She has a Bachelor of Science in psychology.