Osteoporosis in Scheuermann's disease.
A prospective study was undertaken to evaluate osteoporosis in Scheuermann's disease. Ten consecutive untreated patients with thoracic Scheuermann's were studied. The mean age was 16 years, 1 month, and the mean kyphosis was 64 degrees. Osteoporosis was quantitated by single and dual photon absorptiometry. Seven age-, sex-, height-, and weight-matched subjects were used as controls. The mean bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine was 0.975, compared with 1.130 for the control group, significant at P less than 0.025. For patients with a kyphosis greater than 45 degrees, the BMD was 0.913, significant at P less than 0.005. The mean BMD of the femoral neck was 1.00, compared with 1.22, significant at P less than 0.005. For patients with a kyphosis greater than 45 degrees, the femoral neck BMD is 0.983, significant at P less than 0.005. The BMD of the radius by single photon absorptiometry was 0.689, compared with 0.748 in the controls, which was not significant. In patients with a kyphosis greater than 45 degrees, the BMD was 0.655, which is significant at P less than 0.01. A highly significant association exists between osteoporosis and Scheuermann's disease. Further investigation is indicated to determine the role of medical management in the treatment of these patients.