In old men Scheuermann’s disease is not associated with neck or back pain: a Swedish cohort study

Anette Jönsson, Henrik Damm, Mehrsa Hofvander, Björn E. Rosengren, Inga Redlund-Johnell, Claes Ohlsson, Dan Mellström, Magnus K. Karlsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and purpose — Scheuermann’s disease is characterized by kyphosis and frequently mild back pain. As the level of kyphosis may progress over time, also the level of pain may increase. We evaluated the prevalence of Scheuer-mann’s disease, and their pain, in Swedish elderly men. Patients and methods — The Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study Sweden (n = 3,014) is a population-based prospective observational study of community-living men aged 69–81 years. At baseline, participants answered a questionnaire including history of neck/back pain during the preceding year and characteristics of any pain (severity, sciatica, and neurological deficits). Lateral thoracic/lumbar spine radiographs were taken of 1,453 men. We included the 1,417 men with readable radiographs. Scheuermann’s disease was defined as 3 or more consecutive vertebrae with > 5° wedging with no other explanation for the deformity. Results — 92 of the 1,417 men (6.5%, 95% confidence interval 5.3–7.9) had Scheuermann’s disease. 31% of men with and 31% without Scheuermann’s disease reported neck pain (P = 0.90) and 51% with and 55% without the disease reported back pain (P = 0.4). Among men with Scheuer-mann’s disease and back pain, none reported severe pain, 57% moderate, and 43% mild, compared with 7%, 50%, and 44% in those without Scheuermann’s disease (P = 0.2). In those with Scheuermann’s disease 63% reported no sciatica, 15% sciatica without neurological deficits, and 22% sciatica with neurological deficits, compared with 56%, 16%, and 28% in those without the disease (P = 0.6). Conclusion — The prevalence of Scheuermann’s disease in elderly Swedish men is between 5.3% and 7.9%. The con-dition seems at this age not to be associated with neck or back pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-242
Number of pages7
JournalActa Orthopaedica
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Orthopedics


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