Bertolotti syndrome

Dr Henry Knipe and Dr Yuranga Weerakkody et al.

Bertolotti syndrome refers to the association between lumbosacral transitional vertebrae (LSTV) and low back pain, and can be an important cause in young patients. 

It is considered controversial and has been both supported and disputed since Mario Bertolotti first described it in 1917. Some studies suggest LSTV types II and IV positively correlating with prevalence and severity of lower back pain and buttock pain 6.

It affects 4-8% of the population.

Lumbosacral spine radiographs are usually sufficient for identifying the skeletal abnormality, however can not definitively identify the transitional vertebrae as the source of pain. MRI is useful when radicular features with a prolapsed disc co-occur.

Some studies advocate surgical resection in selected refractory to more conservative approaches 9.

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Article information

rID: 24873
Section: Syndromes
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Bertolotti's syndrome

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