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Bertolotti syndrome

Case contributed by Alborz Jahangiri
Diagnosis certain


Chronic low back pain while playing basketball. Gradual improvement of symptoms with rest.

Patient Data

Age: 16 years
Gender: Male

Sacralization of the L5 transverse process on the right side and narrowing of the adjacent sacroiliac joint.

Case Discussion

Bertollotti syndrome is partial or complete fusion of the transverse process of the L5 vertebra to the sacrum. It can be unilateral or bilateral.

It is an important cause for back pain in young patients and it affects 4-8% of the population.

X-ray of the lumbosacral spine is usually sufficient for diagnosis. MRI is useful when radicular features with a prolapsed disc co-occur.

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