Scheuermann's disease is an orthopedic condition that usually manifests in adolescence. It is not dangerous, but without proper treatment it may significantly limit the patient and his life.
The cause of the disease is not entirely clear. There is probably a genetic condition related to the occurrence of this condition. The disease typically develops gradually and it occurs in adolescent boys between 15 and 18 year of life. The disease affects the spine (typically its thoracic part) and causes degeneration of the vertebrae and intervertebral discs. The vertebrae deform and the thoracic spine begins to bend forward.
The disease is initially not apparent and the symptoms occur gradually. The affected person suffers from rounded back, curved spine and back pain. The symptoms are chronic and may accompany the patient during the entire life.
The diagnosis is usually done by an orthopedist by a young individual with back pain and bad posture. The diagnosis can be confirmed by X-ray of the spine.
The therapy includes mainly regular rehabilitation and gymnastics. Physical exercise is important to strengthen the spinal muscles, to keep proper posture and minimize the effects of the disease.