A transitional vertebra is part lumbar vertebra, and part sacrum. Namely, it didn’t quite separate completely in development, and is not usually of any consequence.
Whether it is affected by the fusion above it depends largely on whether it is a moving and functioning disc space at that level or not. If the disc space moves on flexion and extension xrays then it could be a potentially painful segment with degenerated facets and the rest. If it does not move, then your pain is probably from somewhere else. Injecting different areas like facet joints, then sacroiliac joints later can sometimes help in seeing which relieves the pain, and is therefore the problem to be addressed.
Thanks for your question.
Charles Rosen, MD
Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
University of California, Irvine, College of Medicine
Founding Director, UCI Spine Center
101 City Drive, Pavilion III
Orange, CA 92868
Isn't a Transitional Vertebrae just another name used to describe Spina Bifida Occulta? I have X-ray and MRI reports that state SBO at L5-S1, Transitional Vertebrae for sake of this report. And SBO is a Congential Birth Defect, considered by most as being of "no consequence", yet is the only health issue I have to account for the Polyradiculopathy found on NCS/EMG.
And with SBO/Transitional Vertebrae being so Common, and the Millions that have it, suffering the same LBP, leg pain/weakness/numbness, why is it still being considered "OF NO CONSEQUENCE"?