Diagnosing Richard III: Was Shakespeare Wrong?
the MPR take:
Shakespeare famously described King Richard III as “hunchbacked,” but a case report in The Lancet claims that it was actually scoliosis that caused his physical disfigurement. Using CT 3D reconstructions of each of his bones, scientists were able to build a model of his spine and discovered that the curvature of the spine matches that of scoliosis. It is estimated that he developed adolescent onset idiopathic scoliosis which was slight due to the well-balance spinal curve and symmetric, well-formed leg bones that would not have caused an overt limp.
(CNN) -- When Shakespeare wrote of Richard III as a "bunch back'd toad," he didn't have the benefit of actually seeing the king, who had died in the previous century. In fact, he had a significant spinal curve that we would call scoliosis. Archaeologists determined at that time that Richard III had scoliosis, a condition characterized by a curvature of the spine.
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