Images on this website are available for licensing for editorial and commercial use.

Content © Vivid Biology 2012-2019


Dowager’s hump (hyperkyphosis)

Dowager’s hump. Illustration of a spine exhibiting hyperkyphosis, or ‘dowager’s hump’. Caused by the gathering of fat around the spine.

This is defined as concave curvature in the thoracic (chest) region of the spine to an angle of over 40 degrees. This is typically caused by osteoporosis, a bone disease that results in decrease in bone density. The disease is commonly associated with advanced age, although there is a also a heritable component in the risk of developing the disease. Osteoporosis was considered to be a cause but has in recent times been disproven.