Kummell’s disease: literature update and challenges ahead


Historical description In 1891, Hermann Kummel first gave the description of the disorder in six patients1. He described three stages of the disease: first, a stage of acute trauma followed by an asymptomatic period; secondly, a stage of recurrence of back pain and the last stage being appearance of kyphosis and neurological deficit. Radiographs had not been developed at that time, and the concept of initial normal radiographic picture was added many years later5,22. Steel5 further elaborated the chronology of the events and suggested five stages beginning with the initial trauma, phase of minor pain, asymptomatic period, onset of severe pain and kyphosis and finally spinal cord compression. Young et al.9 searched English literature after 1950 and found that only five cases met Kummell’s original criteria for the diagnosis among many reported. However, in many instances, the classical radiographic chain can not be completed because of the absence of post-traumatic initial negative radiographs. This is especially true in developing countries where either out of ignorance or poor resources, initial medical care is not sought at all.

4 Figures and Tables

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Jindal2014KummellsDL, title={Kummell’s disease: literature update and challenges ahead}, author={N Jindal and Rama Kanta Sharma and Ravi Jindal and S P Garg}, year={2014} }