Sacralization is irregularity of the spine, where the fifth vertebra is fused to the sacrum bone at the bottom of the spine. The fifth lumbar vertebra L5 may fuse fully or partially on either side of the sacrum, or on both sides. Sacralization is a congenital anomaly that occurs in the embryo.
Sacralization often has no symptoms. It’s sometimes is associated with lower back pain or problems with posture and movement. It’s also called lumbosacral transitional vertebrae or LSTV. These anomalies are observed at about 3.5 percent of people, and it is usually bilateral. It occurs during embryonic development, when the vertebrae begin to ossify, in about the eighth week.
Low Back pain
arthritis at the fusion site
biomechanical difficulties in movement(limited ipsilateral flexion)
limits to range of motion
Decreased coordination and balance
Muscle spasm and fatigueness
Leg length discrepancy
Treatment depends on the type and degree of sacralization and what symptoms. The aims of treatment are-
To relief pain
To increase mobility
To increase coordination and balance
To prevent deformity and other secondary condition like Pyriformis syndrome
The treatment procedure includes-
This may include the standard treatments for lower back pain:
A 2015 studyTrusted Source reports that the Alexander technique of muscle retraining helps with posture and neuromuscular coordination. The basic idea for the Alexander technique, according to the study, is to “reduce back pain by limiting muscle spasm, strengthening postural muscles, improving coordination and flexibility and decompressing.
Pilate’s method may be more effective in this area.
Spinal mobilization is helpful to prevent joint stiffness
Balance and coordination exercise, neuro dynamic solution technique is needed to prevent neuropathy.
There are a few studies of other promising treatments.
A local anesthetic combined with radiofrequency strips in the pain area is successful to pain relief in one case. The authors recommend further research in this technique.
A 2015 studyTrusted Source reported on the use of electric denervation as a minimally invasive method for pain relief in the space between the 5th lumbar vertebra and the sacrum.
Only 43 cases of surgeryTrusted Source for sacralization problems have been reported in the medical literature. More studies are needed to better understand when surgery may be helpful.
Surgery may be recommended to correct specific disc or other abnormalities that result from the sacralization.
Sometime people don’t notice or unconscious about their problem. We know sacralization is not curable but manageable disease. So, if we are aware from the beginning and under proper treatment, we can prevent further complications and lead a normal daily life.
Rebeka is a Registered Physiotherapist with degrees from BPT, Faculty of Medicine, DU (NITOR),Pediatric physiotherapy(BCCW), Tapping in Orthopaedic and Sports injury, Physiotherapy and corporate Health. She has worked in a variety of settings, encompassing Orthopaedics, Neurology,Pediatrics, Geriatric,Sports and Gynaecology Physiotherapy through Mayfair Wellness Clinic.