Wedge-shaped vertebrae (hemivertebrae) in adults and children: causes and treatment

What consequences may result in wedge-shaped deformation of the vertebrae?

Wedge-shaped deformation of the vertebrae is pathological, which can be either congenital or occur as a consequence of pathological processes in the spine.

Represents the immature side or front of the spine.

As a result of this pathology is developing a curvature of the spine in the lateral or the anteroposterior direction, and this, in turn, adversely affects the functioning of the heart.

Normal vertebra is a bone, having a solid rectangular base, the processes and arcs. The main burden falls on the vertebral body, arch and back pass into the hollow where the spinal cord is located.

The function of the joints with other vertebrae perform the processes. Epifizarnah growth plate is responsible for the development and growth of the vertebrae.

Wrong ingrowth of blood vessels during development in the womb leads to poor laying of the vertebral body. This is the reason for the formation of the sphenoid bone.

The types of wedge-shaped vertebrae

The structure of the vertebrae wedge-shaped differs from the conventional in that they consist of the main body and the half-arches with small spikes. The classification depends on the growth potential.

The types of wedge-shaped vertebrae:

  • single;
  • double;
  • multiple.

Deformations are divided into active and inactive.

First develop and grow. This pathology is unfavorable, since during adolescence the child grows the vertebrae, and deformity of the spine increases.

Alternating vertebrae are two wedge-shaped vertebra located on opposite sides and opposite to each other. This pathology is more favorable because the curvature is local.

The types of deformation

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Improper formation of more than two vertebrae, is a broad anomaly of segmentation. The basis of a vertebra, consisting of two parts wedge-shaped, are connected by vertices to form a design and a butterfly pathology.

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To diagnose unilateral double and triple hemivertebrae in the fetus is extremely difficult, it requires expensive equipment.

Wedge-shaped deformation of the vertebral bodies is:

  • front and rear (the deformation of the front and rear parts);
  • side (deformation of one of the parties).

Wedge-shaped deformation develops due to abnormalities of the nucleus of ossification in the different areas of the spine, mainly in nizhnegrudnogo and verhnepyshminsky that contributes to the formation of hump.

An inactive vertebrae epifizarnah underdeveloped area that does not allow them to develop. Such damage may tend to coalesce with adjacent normal vertebra. In this case, the vertebra is blocked.

The causes of pathology

According to statistics, cases of congenital abnormalities of the spine, including wedge-shaped deformation of the vertebrae, is growing every year.

Development in the womb

The causes of congenital abnormalities in unborn children:

  • wrong mother’s diet during pregnancy;
  • genetic predisposition;
  • different infection;
  • diseases of the endocrine system and hypertension, a history during pregnancy;
  • life in the ecologically polluted region;
  • heavy working conditions;
  • stress and mental health issues in a pregnant woman.

Factors of development in healthy children

The disease can develop in healthy children, in infant and poroshkova age. Wedge-shaped deformation can be caused by:

  • a back injury;
  • inflammation;
  • metastatic changes of the spine;
  • transferred infections;
  • dystrophy;
  • granulomatous diseases.

Pathology in adults

Causes of hemivertebrae in adults:

  • metastatic changes;
  • a back injury;
  • dystrophy.

Symptoms of the disease

The main symptoms of sphenoid vertebrae:

  • the constant or sharp pain in the back, which radiates to the lower back;
  • rapid fatigue during prolonged lying down or sitting, and during exercise;
  • the posture disorders of varying severity;
  • shortness of breath that occur because of deterioration of the lungs;
  • the deformation in the cervical spine may have headaches.

Diagnostic methods

For a successful diagnosis is necessary to study each vertebra to obtain full information about their condition and the character of wedge-shaped deformations. For this purpose, different diagnostic techniques.

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Each study gives the necessary information, depending on the form of a wedge-shaped vertebrae and their placement.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Radiation research, through which you can obtain information about the state of the vertebrae and the degree of pathology.

Using MRI it is possible to determine a complete picture of the patient’s condition.

MRI allows to examine:


  • spinal cord;
  • intervertebral discs;
  • dural bag;
  • vertebrae;
  • the epidural space.

Lesion of the spinal cord is a frequent cause of the disease.

X-ray computed tomography

The method gives information about the condition of the internal organs. The study allows to obtain the following information:

  • objective evaluation of a vertebra;
  • to detect the exact affected area;
  • cancer diagnosis;
  • the condition of the paravertebral tissues and of the disk.

The method has several drawbacks:

  1. The study determines the extent of pathology of only a few vertebral segments.
  2. Axial surface, which reproduces the results does not allow to obtain a high quality image.
  3. Allows you to get a little information about the contents of the spinal canal.
  4. Negative ions effects of radiation on the human body.

The method used in the study of pathologies of the skeletal systems and the effectiveness of radiation therapy in the postoperative period, when the overlay metal,

The bone scan

Radionuclide method is particularly relevant in the diagnosis of pathologies caused by tumor lesions of the spine or spinal cord.

The examination is administered in combination with MRI for more accurate results. The method has limitations in the diagnosis of local curvatures of the spine.

Methods of influence on the pathology

There are two methods of treatment of wedge-shaped deformation of the vertebrae:

  • conservative.
  • surgical;

Conservative treatment

This treatment is indicated for moderate scoliosis and in cases where the disease has led to violations of internal organs.

Conservative treatment involves these procedures:

  • the use of orthopedic corset;
  • Exercise;
  • rehabilitation in specialized health centers;
  • therapeutic massage;
  • acupuncture;
  • swimming and water aerobics;
  • complex of daily exercises.
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Surgical technique

If conservative treatment is ineffective, and the pathology is developing rapidly and poses a threat to the normal life of the patient, the use of surgical treatment.

Methods of surgical intervention:

  • posterior spinal fusion without the use of tools;
  • the metal implants that will increase stabilization of the spine, sometimes to correct the deformation, to minimize the degree of localization from the quality of external immobilisation (back Speedlites with the tools);
  • anteroposterior spinal fusion;
  • xsize of the hemivertebrae.

Complications up to disability

Wedge-shaped deformation of the vertebrae is a very dangerous disease that can lead to disability.

Without effective treatment it can lead to such complications:

  • disturbed posture, which in turn leads to a shift of internal organs;
  • there are problems in the cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive systems;
  • developing other chronic diseases;
  • permanent pain syndrome.


The most effective method of treatment is prevention. The disease is always easier to prevent. And prevention should start before birth and hold up to extreme old age.

Preventive measures:

  • proper balanced diet;
  • healthy lifestyle;
  • to control posture;
  • follow the simple safety rules;
  • timely treatment of infectious diseases;
  • moderate but regular exercise.

When the first symptoms of the disease should consult a podiatrist or spine. Early diagnosis and timely treatment can help avoid complications.

In no case do not self-medicate, only a specialist can prescribe you an effective treatment.