Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Pain Physician. 2006 Jan;9(1):53-6.

Lumbosacral transitional vertebrae: incidence in a consecutive patient series.

Author information

1
Christiana Spine Center, Newark, Delaware, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Great variability exists in the reported frequency of transitional vertebra in the general population as well as in symptomatic lumbar spine patients.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the occurrence rate of transitional vertebra in consecutive lumbar spine patients in our practice.

DESIGN:

A prospective, observational study

METHODS:

Plain films were viewed and the presence or absence of a lumbar transitional vertebra was documented. Transitional vertebrae were classified as incomplete or complete.

RESULTS:

Of the 300 consecutive patients, 30% had a transitional vertebra.

CONCLUSION:

Our percentage of patients with a transitional vertebra was higher than the percentages reported for the general population. This supports our belief that the alteration in mechanics caused by a transitional vertebra may at times contribute to pain generation. Additionally, as a transitional segment may not always be visualized on MRI, obtaining plain films prior to an injection or surgery will help prevent confusion over the appropriate level for the procedure.

PMID:
16700281
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Pain Physician
Loading ...
Support Center