Sacralization of the fifth lumbar vertebra

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Sacrilization of the L5 vertebra is seen at the lower right of the image

Sacralization of the fifth lumbar vertebra (or sacralization) is a congenital anomaly, in which the transverse process of the last lumbar vertebra (L5) fuses to the sacrum on one side or both, or to ilium, or both. These anomalies are observed at about 3.5 percent of people, and it is usually bilateral. Although sacralization may be a cause of low back pain, it is asymptomatic in many cases (especially bilateral type). Low back pain in these cases most likely occurs due to chronic faulty biomechanics. In sacralization, the L5-S1 intervertebral disc may be thin and narrow. This abnormality is found by X-ray.

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