Page 1 of 8 12345678 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 80

Thread: Extra Lumbar Vertebra/ Mutations

  1. #1

    Extra Lumbar Vertebra/ Mutations

    Dr. Young,

    Back in college in Anatomy & Physiology class I learned that in rare instances, humans are born with 6 lumbar vertabrae instead of 5. Have you studied this at all and do you know how it might affect the spinal cord and nerve roots?

    I guess I'm just curious as this kind of thing fascinates me. I was born with two extra fingers, so I'm a bit of a mutant myself. They had tiny fingernails, but no bone or apparent muscle, so both were 'tied off' after birth. My younger brother was born with one extra, and my folks were told if they had any more kids they would like be 'polydactyl' as well. Too bad I wasn't born with a redundant CNS like a Klingon. OK, my geekiness is starting to show, so I'll shut up now.

    ~Rus

    "Because you're not promised tomorrow." ~ Stuck Mojo

  2. #2
    Rus,

    Very interesting. A number of people (I was not able to identify a reliable source of the incidence of such an occurrence) have a 13th rib, usually from L1 vertebra. This is often associated with a 6th lumbar vertebra. Such an extra vertebra is sometimes called a transitional vertebra. Accordin to the following web site

    http://www.vh.org/Providers/Textbook...Vertebrae.html

    the incidence of a transitional vertebra is 4.2% in a very large series of skeletons (4200). Also, lumbosacral transitional vertebrae vary by race.

    Lumbosacral transitional vertebrae were found to vary by race. It was reported that they were present in 18% of Australian aboriginals (Mitchell), 16% of Indians (Bustami), 10% of Arabs (Bustami), 8.1% of natives of Britain (Brailsford), and 5.8% of Japanese (Toyoda). Bustami studied 340 sacra of two population groups (Arab and Indian). Of these 340 sacra, 32 or 9.4% showed evidence of unilateral sacralization and 14 or 4.1% showed bilateral sacralization. Lumbarization was no found in the 340 sacra examined. Sacralization was present to some degree in 46 specimens (13.5%). The incidence of total sacralization was 10% in Arab and was 16% in Indian population groups. Arab males had a higher incidence in all stages of sacralization while it was the Indian females that showed the higher incidence in their group.
    You may be interested to find that while the homo sapien is characterized by having five lumbar vertebra but homo erectus (the first of the human skeletons found in Africa, including Lucy and australopithecus africanus skeletons) typically had 6 lumbar vertebra. The presence of a 13th rib is of passing interest from the point of view of the Bible which suggests that God made Eve from the 13th rib of Adam.

    http://www.angelfire.com/mi/dinosaurs/erectus_ribs.html

    Animals generally have more vertebra than humans. For example, most animals have 12-15 thoracic vertebrae and 6-7 lumbar vertebrae although some whales may have as many as 20 lumbar vertebrae. Cows have 13 thoracic and 6 lumbar vertebrae. Pigs have 13-17 thoracic vertebrae and 5-7 lumbar vertebrae. Sheep have 13-14 thoracic vertebrae and 6 to 7 lumbar vertebrae. In contrast, almost all mammals have 7 cervical vertebrae, including human.
    http://www.earthlife.net/mammals/skeleton.html

    Wise

  3. #3

    Co-joined nerves

    Can you explain what co-joined nerve roots are? I was told it is a congenital defect but had no awareness of it until my injury. It showed on the MRI and is part of the reason I did not have the type of recovery and the motor and sensory loss was greater. Is this uncommon or something that people have but are never aware of until a problem arises?
    Thanks

  4. #4

    Fascinating!

    Thanks, Dr. young. I'm going to check out those links as well.

    ~Rus

    "Because you're not promised tomorrow." ~ Stuck Mojo

  5. #5
    Cheesecake,

    A huge variety of spinal cord anomalies occur. These include co-joined roots where one or more roots, instead of each coming out separate through the appropriate opening of the spinal column, join and come out in the wrong opening. I am no t sure why this should change the recovery from spinal cord injury.

    Several anomalies of the spinal column are very well known to increase the risk of spinal cord injury. The most prominent of these is stenosis of the cervical or lumbar canal, where t he space in which the spinal cord resides is narrowed. Football players who have stenosis are more likely to get paralysis when hit.

    Do you have scoliosis? This also predisposes to spinal cord injury. Interestingly, for reasons that are not well-under stood, scoliosis is much more common in females than males. Scoliosis is also associated with a high incidence of tethering of the spinal cord which predisposes to greater risk and severity of spinal cord injury.

    Wise.tm

  6. #6
    I've got a 6th lumbar vertebrae. It was discovered after I was in a terrible auto accident 25 years ago. Since that time, I have had a "bony protrusion" growing on the left side of my lower back. It has been surgically removed three times, but continues to reoccur.
    I've suffered severe back pain for the last 25 years. Recently I found a new pain management doctor, who has actually studied my problem (gasp/ a real doctor who wants to know WHY I hurt, instead of one telling me that I don't hurt at all).
    New x-rays I had done last week show that the "bony protrusion" is actually the L6 vertebrae, and it is growing sideways to the left. It is a huge plate of bone that has actually partially fused with my illium (hip bone). It appears that I have broken this bone multiple times during the normal course of daily motion. It explains why my pain is so very intense at times that I can't breathe, and why after about 2 months I feel better for a while. Then it seems to break again, at the place where it wants to grow to the illium. Then I have two broken bone edges that rub against each other until they begin to knit again. And then it breaks again.
    My doctor doesn't know how to fix this. He is contacting surgeons, but not having any luck so far.
    Has this happened to anyone else? If so, was it fixed? How?
    At this point I am living my life on pain pills which only help a little. I am in almost constant pain and now afraid to do simple things like walk or sweep a floor.
    Any help or suggestions would be most appreciated. I would be happy to provide links to the X-rays if it would help. (I'll get them scanned or something, just let me know).

  7. #7

    I have the extra vertebrae in my lower back

    My mom was missing one. You figure? I just consider it an abnormality.
    Lynarrd Skynyrd Lives

  8. #8
    Senior Member Kaprikorn1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    S.F. Bay Area, Calif.
    Posts
    1,367
    My son also has the "extra one"...discovered during Army induction physical. Has never caused him any trouble.

    Kap
    accept no substitutes

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by TraciLeigh
    I've got a 6th lumbar vertebrae. It was discovered after I was in a terrible auto accident 25 years ago. Since that time, I have had a "bony protrusion" growing on the left side of my lower back. It has been surgically removed three times, but continues to reoccur.
    I've suffered severe back pain for the last 25 years. Recently I found a new pain management doctor, who has actually studied my problem (gasp/ a real doctor who wants to know WHY I hurt, instead of one telling me that I don't hurt at all).
    New x-rays I had done last week show that the "bony protrusion" is actually the L6 vertebrae, and it is growing sideways to the left. It is a huge plate of bone that has actually partially fused with my illium (hip bone). It appears that I have broken this bone multiple times during the normal course of daily motion. It explains why my pain is so very intense at times that I can't breathe, and why after about 2 months I feel better for a while. Then it seems to break again, at the place where it wants to grow to the illium. Then I have two broken bone edges that rub against each other until they begin to knit again. And then it breaks again.
    My doctor doesn't know how to fix this. He is contacting surgeons, but not having any luck so far.
    Has this happened to anyone else? If so, was it fixed? How?
    At this point I am living my life on pain pills which only help a little. I am in almost constant pain and now afraid to do simple things like walk or sweep a floor.
    Any help or suggestions would be most appreciated. I would be happy to provide links to the X-rays if it would help. (I'll get them scanned or something, just let me know).
    Approximately 10% of adults have some kind of spinal cord anomaly. Some 2-3% of the population (depending on the race) have a 13th thoracic vertebrae (made infamous because of the 13th rib that God took from Adam to make woman). Some people have "cervical ribs".

    One of the most common spinal anomaly is a 6th lumbar vertebrae. It rarely causes back problems except when it is fused with the sacrum (Source). This sacralization does cause pain, as you describe. Most doctors initially try to treat this conservatively with steroid injections. Surgery may be necessary.

    Wise.

  10. #10
    I have a hemisacralization (6th lumbar vertebra fused to my sacrum). If anyone doubts that great pain results from this condition, he/she is WRONG. I have had terrible pain since I was "jarred" in a wreck about a year and half ago. The only relief that I seem to get is to lie in bed for a day or two after trying to maintain a normal routine for the rest of the days of any given week.
    I would appreciate any input from anybody out there regarding this situation. I hope that this isn't all that I have to look forward to from now on since I'm only 38 right now.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •