Bertolotti's syndrome

What is Bertolotti's syndrome?

Bertolotti's syndrome is a form of back pain associated with lumbosacral transitional vertebrae. It can be treated surgically with posterolateral fusion or resection of the transitional articulation. Non surgical treatments include steroid injections in the lower back or radiofrequency sensory ablation. It is named for Mario Bertolotti, an Italian physician

Bertolotti's syndrome is defined by a transitional 5th lumbar vertebra resulting in partial sacralization. Of importance is that this syndrome will result in a pain generating 4th lumbar disc resulting in a "sciatic" type of a pain correlating to the 5th lumbar nerve root. Usually the transitional vertebra will have a "spatulated" transverse process on one side resulting in articulation or partial articulation with the sacrum or at time the illium and in some cases with both. This results in limited / altered motion at the lumbo-sacral articulation. This loss of motion will then be compensated for at segments superior to the transitional vertebra resulting in accelerated degeneration and strain through the L4 disc level which can become symptomatic and inflame the adjacent L5 nerve root resulting in "sciatic" or radicular pain patterns. This is a congenital condition and is usually not symptomatic until one's later twenties or early thirties, yet there are cases found where Bertolotti's is symptomatic at a much earlier age. MRI may help to detect this syndrome.

Questions and answers on "Bertolotti's syndrome"

Was hospitalized in XXXXXXX for pain believed to me bladder/urethral in nature along with severe back pain. I have history of L4-L5 spinal fusion...

doctor1 MD

Thanks for your query
Interstitial cystitis is occasionally a diagnosis of exclusion, if no other definitive cause for symptoms is found.

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Dear Doctor,
1.      I am attaching here a report of my sister’s MRI Scan of Lumbo-sacral spine. She is having some problem in L4-5 & L5-S1.
2.     She is...

doctor1 MD


Thanks for posting your query.

I have gone through the reports attached in the query and my suggestions are as follows:

1. Your sister is...

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Hola! I had a lumbar spine MRI and was told my L5 transverse process is articulated with the sacrum. This is obviously what has been causing me low...

doctor1 MD


thank you for providing the brief history of you.

As by reading your history I can understand that the back ache is bothering you too much.


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