OBJECTIVE: This article aims to provide more insight into the presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of Bertolotti's syndrome, which is a rare spinal disorder that is very difficult to recognize and diagnose correctly. The syndrome was first described by Bertolotti in 1917 and affects approximately 4 to 8% of the population. It is characterized by an enlarged transverse process at the most caudal lumbar vertebra with a pseudoarticulation of the transverse process and the sacral ala. It tends to present with low back pain and may be confused with facet and sacroiliac joint disease. METHODS: In this case report, we describe a 40-year-old man who presented with low back pain and was eventually diagnosed with Bertolotti's syndrome. The correct diagnosis was made based on imaging studies which included computed tomographic scans, plain x-rays, and magnetic resonance imaging scans. The patient experienced temporary relief when the abnormal pseudoarticulation was injected with a cocktail consisting of lidocaine and steroids. In order to minimize the trauma associated with surgical treatment, a minimally invasive approach was chosen to resect the anomalous transverse process with the accompanying pseudoarticulation. RESULTS: The patient did well postoperatively and had 97% resolution of his pain at 6 months after surgery. CONCLUSION: As with conventional surgical approaches, a complete knowledge of anatomy is required for minimally invasive spine surgery. This case is an example of the expanding utility of minimally invasive approaches in treating spinal disorders.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Issue number||5 Suppl 2|
|State||Published - May 2008|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology