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Thread: 6th lumbar vertebra and overly big transverse processes....

  1. #1

    Smile 6th lumbar vertebra and overly big transverse processes....

    I recently found out that I have a 6th lumbar vertebra as well as its transverse processes are about 2-3 x the size of a normal transverse process. I guess I have had it since birth, but up until this year, I had no back problems like I have now, at all......

    I used to take prednisone low dose for about 7 months but only noticed the back pain after I went off of them. (Don't think cortisone would be the cause of back pain, or could it in rare instances)?
    My symptoms are as follows:

    a) It started with massive pain (like a wood board hitting) below my rib cage. Had manual therapie and that pain went away.

    b)Now i constantly have back pain that is starting at the waist going down....into my thighs sometimes, but only more noticeable if i wanna do some stretching. The one that really bothers me is that if I do walk too much, sit for too long, or even lie too long, my feet seem to swell up (NOT like water retention). Just swelling overall. And the pain in the feet on the outer side of them. I sometimes even think my whole waist down to my hip is sometimes swollen.........but maybe i am just imagening.
    I also feel pain in my lower back constantly and it seems to affect the tendons going to the hip and/or into the stomach.

    Anyways, my question is and i hope i don't sound stupid, but:

    Can transverse processes of a vertebra swell up twice its size?
    Can bones actually swell up and enlarge (e.g. due to hormonal problem, or an accident)?

    The reason why i am asking is that although my orthopedist did some manipulation on me (chiropractic) on the lumbar spine, my pain ain't away.
    Feet pain is still there, and if i move my lower back weird, I totally feel that somethin is swollen in my lower back and the pain shoots into my buttocks occasionally.

    Sorry for my silly question, but i cannot believe no one noticed first of all my 6th lumbar vertebra, and secondly the abnormal size of its transverse processes. I had bone density scans done several times (I'm age 33).
    Are the bone density scans interpreted wrong then, or does it not matter cause they are counting the vertebrae from the bottom up?

    Thanks in advance for any input!!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member soonerborn's Avatar
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    its not abnormal to an extra vert. and im not an expert as to why its enlarged, but the transverse process points away from the body and if its enlarged i can see that it would add extra pressure to that spot. Did the Dr say that it has more blood supply to that area? or that its pushing on the nerves? Your 6th vert would be sitting on top of your sacrum which is connected to your pelvis at the si joint, not at the top. and there are some bone pathologies that can cause abnormal growth or make them brittle, but i think it would cause more than one to be abnormal. Dont know if this helps, its just my little bit of knowledge.

  3. #3
    Prednisone can cause bone death, (osteonecrosis / avascular necrosis), most commonly in joints that have both poor circulation and high weight bearing. In people who are walking, that usually means the hips, but it can affect any bone. For someone in a chair a lot, that could easily mean the sacrum. Bone collapse at S1-2 might resemble a 6th lumbar if you did not have prior films for comparison. This could also explain the distortion of the transverse process if this "6th lumbar" was in fact previously fused into the sacrum.
    This is a somewhat dose-dependent effect, so your history of low doses tends to point away from it. However, 7 months is not a short time to be on corticosteroids, so I don't think that it can be entirely ruled out.

    I'm not saying that this is what is going on, I am simply saying that your healthcare team should probably investigate this possibility considering the prior history of corticosteroid use and the current pain that you are reporting.

    I hope you solve your mystery soon.

    Take care.
    Last edited by aculady; 08-16-2008 at 12:02 AM.

  4. #4
    Did the Dr say that it has more blood supply to that area? or that its pushing on the nerves? Your 6th vert would be sitting on top of your sacrum which is connected to your pelvis at the si joint,?
    i wanna do some stretching.

  5. #5
    Hi,
    I too have a 6th lumbar. If you check out my post on "Please help with my MRI" the response I received was very informative and helpful.

    Tatiana

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Lana741 View Post
    I recently found out that I have a 6th lumbar vertebra as well as its transverse processes are about 2-3 x the size of a normal transverse process. I guess I have had it since birth, but up until this year, I had no back problems like I have now, at all......

    I used to take prednisone low dose for about 7 months but only noticed the back pain after I went off of them. (Don't think cortisone would be the cause of back pain, or could it in rare instances)?
    My symptoms are as follows:

    a) It started with massive pain (like a wood board hitting) below my rib cage. Had manual therapie and that pain went away.

    b)Now i constantly have back pain that is starting at the waist going down....into my thighs sometimes, but only more noticeable if i wanna do some stretching. The one that really bothers me is that if I do walk too much, sit for too long, or even lie too long, my feet seem to swell up (NOT like water retention). Just swelling overall. And the pain in the feet on the outer side of them. I sometimes even think my whole waist down to my hip is sometimes swollen.........but maybe i am just imagening.
    I also feel pain in my lower back constantly and it seems to affect the tendons going to the hip and/or into the stomach.

    Anyways, my question is and i hope i don't sound stupid, but:

    Can transverse processes of a vertebra swell up twice its size?
    Can bones actually swell up and enlarge (e.g. due to hormonal problem, or an accident)?

    The reason why i am asking is that although my orthopedist did some manipulation on me (chiropractic) on the lumbar spine, my pain ain't away.
    Feet pain is still there, and if i move my lower back weird, I totally feel that somethin is swollen in my lower back and the pain shoots into my buttocks occasionally.

    Sorry for my silly question, but i cannot believe no one noticed first of all my 6th lumbar vertebra, and secondly the abnormal size of its transverse processes. I had bone density scans done several times (I'm age 33).
    Are the bone density scans interpreted wrong then, or does it not matter cause they are counting the vertebrae from the bottom up?

    Thanks in advance for any input!!!
    I also have enlarged transverse processes and a 6th lumbar vertebrae. My chiropractor mentioned "extra bone growth" years ago, but more recently, my pain doctor confirmed it as well as the 6th vertebrae when giving me injections.

    My pain is in my buttocks, down my legs, and across my lower back. I found out that I have herniated disks, stenosis and facet syndrom from an MRI. I think that my bowels and bladder are probably affected by the situation (years ago I was told that I have IBS - irratible bowel syndrum).
    When I walk or stand too long, sit for too long (as in a 2 hour road trip), or even lie too long, my feet and knees seem to swell up and I ache for the entire next day.

    Have you looked into what to do about the pain? I have just started my research and have come across (googled) AccuScope, AxiaLIF and laminectomy. Are you planning on treatment for your pain?

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