Chin on Chest Syndrome

Chin on chest syndrome is a specific type of hyperkyphosis.

Hyperkyphosis is a spinal deformity in which the upper back curves forward more than normal, creating the appearance of a hump in the back. The curvature of hyperkyphosis typically exceeds 50 degrees.

Rarely, weak muscles in the cervical spine (neck) and severe hyperkyphosis in the cervical and thoracic spine (mid-back) result in chin-on-chest syndrome. The name of the syndrome is a literal description of its effect: the chin rests flat against the chest. Other names for this syndrome include cervical kyphosis, dropped head syndrome, or head ptosis.

Chin on chest syndrome is most often seen in patients with Parkinson’s disease, patients who have experienced a stroke, patients with spinal tumors of the head or neck, patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and patients with ankylosing spondylitis.

Chin on chest syndrome is a complex condition that significantly affects quality of life. Neurosurgeons like those of The Spine Hospital at The Neurological Institute of New York can help patients and their families explore treatment options to improve quality of life.