You are here

Scheuermann's disease N041

Last amended 
30 August 2016
Current RMA Instruments
Reasonable Hypothesis SOP75 of 2016
Balance of Probabilities SOP 76 of 2016
SOP bulletin information on new SOPs

SOP Bulletin 192

ICD Coding
  • ICD-9-CM Codes:732.0
  • ICD-10-AM Codes: M42.0
Brief description

Scheuermann's disease is a relatively common developmental disorder of the thoracic or thoracolumbar spine that typically occurs in early adolescence.  It results in anterior wedging of vertebrae which leads to an increased forward curvature of the spine (kyphosis), which is rigid.

Confirming the diagnosis

The diagnosis is based on the clinical presentation and lateral spine X-rays showing anterior wedging of at least 5 degrees in vertebral bodies (typically in 3 or more adjacent vertebrae). 

The relevant medical specialist is an orthopaedic surgeon.

Additional diagnoses covered by SOP
  • Juvenile osteochondrosis of the spine
  • Physeal osteochondrosis
  • Scheuermann's kyphosis
Conditions not covered by SOP
  • Postural kyphosis (Not itself a disease or injury, but may have an underlying cause e.g. osteoporosis)
Clinical onset

Clinical onset will typically be during adolescence.  The condition may first come to attention because of noticably increased forward curvature of the spine or may produce thoracic pain that is worse with activity and improves with rest.

Clinical worsening

Treatment is generally directed at relieving symtpoms.  Surgical treatment may be undertaken for severe kyphosis.  The underlying pathology dosen't progress once skeletal maturity is reached, so worsening would need to take place before then.