Klippel-Feil Syndrome

Also known as: KFS, cervical vertebral fusion, Klippel-Feil anomaly

What is Klippel-Feil syndrome?

Klippel-Feil syndrome is a genetic disorder of the spine that is present at birth. In this condition, two or more vertebrae in the upper spinal column are fused together. This may or may not be symptomatic.


What causes Klippel-Feil syndrome?

The exact cause of Klippel-Feil syndrome isn’t clear. Some children seem to be more likely to get it based on their genetics. Some cases also appear to be hereditary and are passed down from parents to their children.


What are the symptoms of Klippel-Feil syndrome?

Sometimes children with klippel-Feil syndrome have stiffness in their neck. They may also have a short neck, trouble moving the neck and a low hairline at the back of the neck.


What are Klippel-Feil syndrome care options?

Treatment is patient specific, but usually consists of observation and avoiding certain activities. In severe cases, surgery may be needed.

Reviewed by: Stephen Graham George Jr., MD

This page was last updated on: 6/13/2017 3:56:29 PM



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Stephen M. Swirsky, DO of Nicklaus Children's Hospital is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon with the Orthopedic Surgery Program.

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