The bones (vertebrae) that make up a healthy spine look like cylinders stacked in a column. Kyphosis occurs when the vertebrae in the back become more wedge shaped. The shape of vertebrae can be changed by: Fractures. Broken vertebrae can result in curvature of the spine. Compression fractures, which can occur in weakened bone, are the most common. Mild compression fractures often don't produce noticeable signs or symptoms. Osteoporosis. Weak bones can cause spinal curvature, especially if weakened vertebrae develop compression fractures. Osteoporosis is most common in older women and people who have taken corticosteroids for long periods of time. Disk degeneration. Soft, circular disks act as cushions between spinal vertebrae. With age, these disks flatten and shrink, which often worsens kyphosis. Scheuermann's disease. Also called Scheuermann's kyphosis, this disease typically begins during the growth spurt that occurs before puberty. Other problems. Spinal bones that don't develop properly before birth can cause kyphosis. Kyphosis in children can also be associated with certain medical conditions, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.