Definition of Cervical kyphosis, postmenopausal

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

Cervical kyphosis, postmenopausal: An outward curvature (kyphosis) of the cervical vertebrae (the bones of the neck), creating a hump at the back of the neck.

This condition, once thought to be a characteristic deformity of older women, was called a dowager's hump. A dowager was a woman of high social rank whose husband was dead but who had a title (such as duchess) and property because of her marriage to him.

Postmenopausal cervical kyphosis is due to osteoporotic changes in the cervical spine. It may affect men or women. Like most osteoporotic changes, the condition is often preventable.

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