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Acute spinal cord compression in Scheuermann's disease

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Acute myelopathy is a rare complication of Scheuermann's disease. Three patients are reported where spinal cord compression occurred at the apex of a kyphos. All were male, aged 14, 18 and 20 years, and each had a profound neurological defect associated with a short, sharp kyphos in the low thoracic region. Each patient underwent anterior decompression and all made an almost full recovery. It is deduced that factors which may influence the onset of cord compression include the angle of kyphosis, the number of segments involved, the rate of change of the angle, local anatomical variations, trauma, and possible secondary impairment of the vasculature of the cord.