Back pain is the most common complaint in the modern life. Sacralisation of lumbar vertebra seems to be the most common cause under debate. Addition of sacral elements by the incorporation of fifth lumbar vertebra is known as sacralisation. Sacralisation could be unilateral or bilateral, complete or incomplete. During routine study of vertebral column, we noticed sacralisation of fifth lumbar vertebra with non fusion of lamina of first sacral vertebra in one of the sacrum, in the Department of Anatomy, DM WIMS College, Meppadi, Waynad. This sacrum had six vertebrae instead of five vertebrae as in the normal sacrum. There were five sacral foramina on right side due to complete fusion of abnormal transverse process of fifth lumbar vertebra. But, there were only four sacral foramina on the left side due to incomplete fusion i.e Unilateral Sacralisation. Well defined sacral promontory was absent. So we identified this variation as sacralisation of fifth lumbar vertebra and S1 vertebra was less developed as like S2.
These variations may be found in patients during radiological investigations complaining of low back pain. Lumbosacral transitional vertebrae are due to its embryological origin. These variations may affect normal function because of compression of nerves, soft tissue and ligamentous strain between joints. Knowledge of this variation is important to diagnose lower back pain, sciatica, disc prolapse and is helpful in procedures like spinal anaesthesia and lumbar puncture.
Lumbar Puncture, Non fusion of lamina, Sacral Foramina, Sacralisation, Spinal Anaesthesia