What is it?

Transitional vertebrae, also known as sacralized or lumbarized vertebrae, are variations in the normal structure and numbering of the spinal column. These anomalies occur when there is a fusion or partial fusion of adjacent vertebrae, resulting in a vertebra with characteristics that resemble those of the neighboring segment. The most common types of transitional vertebrae are lumbosacral transitional vertebrae (LSTV), which occur at the junction of the lumbar and sacral spine.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- sacralized vertebrae
- lumbarized vertebrae

Signs & symptoms

These variations in vertebral anatomy are present in up to 40% of the population. They are typically asymptomatic and are often discovered incidentally during imaging studies. However, in some cases, they may be associated with lower back pain or increased risk of spinal instability. Radiating pain into the buttocks or legs can also occur. Careful evaluation by a healthcare professional is recommended if symptoms or concerns arise.

Diagnosis

Diagnostic imaging, such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRI, can identify transitional vertebrae. Additional tests may be needed to assess associated spinal abnormalities or nerve involvement.

Treatment

Treatment aims to alleviate symptoms and prevent complications. Conservative options include physical therapy, pain management, and lifestyle modifications. Surgery may be considered in severe cases.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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