Flat Back Syndrome, also known as Fixed Sagittal Imbalance, is a postural disorder that arises due to complications of a scoliosis surgery. This condition occurs due to loss of either lordosis or kyphosis and forces the normal curvatures of a spine to become imbalanced.
A normal spine usually has two curvatures which allow the weight of the body to become balanced. One curve, known as lordosis, is an inward curvature located in the cervical spine and lumbar spine. An outward curve is located in the thoracic spine, which is called kyphosis (not to be confused with the spinal deformity). When either kyphosis or lordosis loses their curvature, the spine becomes flat and an individual will be diagnosed with Flat Back Syndrome.
Patients with Flat Back Syndrome will usually appear as if they are stooping forward and may find it difficult to stand. In severe cases, patients with Flat Back Syndrome may require assistance from a cane or walker when talking.
Causes of Flat Back Syndrome
Flat Back Syndrome can result from a limited amount of reasons, from complications from surgery or spinal conditions. The most common cause occurs due to complications of a scoliosis surgery. Scoliosis is a medical condition defined as a lateral and abnormal curvature of the spine measuring 10 degrees or greater. To correct this, surgeons may place rods to straighten the malformed curvatures. The rods may extend down toward the lumbar spine and unnaturally straighten the lower curvature of the spine. Other causes of Flat Back Syndrome include Arthritis, Degenerative Disc Disease or complications from spinal fusion.
However, HEALTHPOINTE’s physicians and spinal surgeons utilize advanced medical technology and equipment while performing surgeries to make Flat Back Syndrome an exceptionally rare problem.
Patients with Flat Back Syndrome are not only limited to symptoms that affect appearance, but symptoms that affect the patient’s quality of life as well. They will also suffer worsening symptoms as day progresses. Below is a list of symptoms associated with Flat Back Syndrome:
- Difficulty standing and a sensation of falling forward
- Inability to stand erect
- Worsening symptoms as day progresses
- Significant and Chronic Pain in back and/or legs
- Fatigue and frustration
Like most spinal deformities, treatment for Flat Back Syndrome varies depending on severity of the symptoms and causation. Spine specialists usually recommend minimally invasive options along with physical therapy to both control and treat the many symptoms associated with this condition. Most patients with less severe cases will do well with non-surgical treatments and physical therapy alone. Of course, if non-surgical options are exhausted and the patient has failed to improve in response to this treatment, then surgery may be indicated.
Be sure to receive a consultation with HEALTHPOINTE’s specialists to receive the best options for treatment.