About Scheuermann's Disease
Also known as Calvé disease, Scheuermann’s disease is a disorder that affects the growth of the thoracic and/or lumbar vertebrae in the spine. It causes the back side of the vertebral body to grow as it should while the front grows abnormally and slowly, causing some of the vertebrae to become wedge shaped. Typically developing before puberty, Scheuermann’s disease can cause a rounded upper back and general back pain that is most often associated with periods of inactivity. To reduce the long-term impact of the disease, it’s crucial to seek treatment as early as possible. At Spine Care of North Texas, board-certified spine surgeon Dr. Kendall Carll provides treatments for both adolescents and adults who suffer from Scheuermann’s disease at his offices in Addison, Frisco and Plano, TX. His aim is to help patients find relief from pain and regain their ability to enjoy life.
"I recently experienced a pinched nerve that severely affected my ability to use my right hand. I contacted Dr. Carll who immediately went to work on my behalf. Knowing that this was a time sensitive situation Dr. Carll went out of his way to ensure that I received the appropriate MRIs, CAT scans, and nerve studies to properly diagnose my situation. After reviewing all the test Dr. Carll exhibited true professionalism and integrity by referring me out to Dr. Patty Young (I am so thankful for your referral) who specialized in the surgery that I would need. Dr. Carll could’ve chosen to operate because I had several degenerative disc, however he chose ethics over profit. Dr. Carll is a true professional that will put your health over profit! When it comes to your health there’s nothing more important than having a doctor that you can trust to be professional and ethical. Thank you Dr. Carll for providing me with both!"- K.H. / Google / Aug 29, 2018
"The doctor and all staff were excellent throughout the process from providing options to surgery and then, when surgery was deemed as warranted, in providing extraordinary care. "- Anonymous / Healthgrades / Apr 18, 2021
"I’m a 2x patient of Dr. Kendall Carll. He and his staff are exceptionally one of the most professional and caring group of individuals. There has not been a time where I can honestly say I have been upset or displeased with their service(s). I have referred a couple of people and they feel the same way. I thank you Dr. Kendall Carll & your staff for all you’ve done for me!"- E.S. / Google / Mar 24, 2021
"Dr. Carll and his staff are awesome! Coordinated care with with my imaging, pain management, physical therapy and the result of my surgery has given me my life back."- J. / Healthgrades / Oct 02, 2020
"Dr. Carll and his staff are so kind and professional and make everything so easy for you to understand. Dr. Carll really cares about his patients and I can see that! Literally every day was a risk for me and he has saved my life and taken away all of the pain I have felt for many years. I absolutely cannot tell you enough about how you need to come see him. Even if you have been to other surgeons, just go get his professional opinion."- J.B. / Google / Sep 04, 2020
Scheuermann's disease tends to run in families, but its exact cause may have many factors.
These factors may include:
- The onset of juvenile osteoporosis
- Malabsorption of certain nutrients early in development
- Certain infections
- Endocrine disorders
- Biomechanical factors, such as a shortened sternum
There are several symptoms that can occur with Scheuermann’s disease. The most common tend to be muscle spasms, difficulty balancing, pain associated with certain movements, and muscle stiffness. Pain typically only occurs in or around the thoracic spine but can also develop around the lumbar spine. Though it is rare, serious damage can occur with Scheuermann’s disease and harm can be caused to the spinal cord or internal organs. Therefore, it is important to seek medical advice upon noticing signs and symptoms of the condition.
The first step in diagnosing Scheuermann’s disease is a physical examination by Dr. Carll. The exam will typically include an evaluation of posture in order to examine the curvature of the spine. Most often, x-rays will also be needed for an accurate diagnosis. Individuals with Scheuermann’s disease commonly have a spinal curvature of 45 degrees or more, as well as three or more wedged vertebrae. If needed, Dr. Carll may also conduct a CT scan and/or MRI scan.
The initial treatments for Scheuermann’s disease involve taking steps to reduce inflammation and pain, as well as restore movement and mobility. Pain management options may include both over-the-counter or prescription anti-inflammatory medications. For some patients, Dr. Carll may recommend a back brace in order to help stop or reverse the curving in the spine. In many cases, physical therapy is also suggested to help maintain flexibility and alleviate some pain.
Surgery is rarely recommended for Scheuermann’s disease unless the amount of wedging of the vertebra is so great that it's impossible to achieve a normal posture, or if it is creating neurological issues. The surgical procedure for Scheuermann’s disease involves removing the discs in the affected thoracic region, inserting bone grafts into those spaces, and allowing the grafts to fuse the thoracic section of the spine. Within the same surgical procedure, a series of rods and wires will also be inserted and attached to the remaining vertebrae in the thoracic region to stabilize it. Since the thoracic region of the spine already has a limited range of motion, the fusion procedure will not greatly affect the patient’s range of motion or flexibility.
Experience Pain Relief
Board-certified Dallas-based spine surgeon Dr. Kendall Carll is passionate about providing his patients with solutions to their spine problems. Developmental issues such as Scheuermann’s disease can be physically and emotionally challenging to live with. Dr. Carll and his staff understand, and they are prepared to help your family. Contact Spine Care of North Texas to schedule your appointment today.