Extra vertebra in your back is a common normal anatomic variant. The main clinical significance is that counting from top to bottom vs. bottom to top may result in different numbering if one assumes 5 lumbar vertebra when the patient actually has 6. Accurate localization is critical for surgery/procedures.
I have had back pain for longer than I can remember, literally. My regular doctor said my padding between the vertebrae in my lower back was going away. Went to the pain clinic and was told I have an extra vertebrae in my lower back. She wants to shoot me up with steroids to my back. WTF !!!!!! Don't know if both doctors are right or if one is misdiagnosing the situation. What I do know is not every doctor graduates at the top of their class. Some just make it and I can't tell which is which. Once they put the lab coats on they all look alike to me. LOL
Thanks CCmidwest for adding your information. I haven't seen Chasingthehigh3 for awhile. Hopefully they are still active on MH.
I am sorry to hear about your painful back issues and upcoming surgery. If you would like to make a separate post (Hit the green Post a Question words near the top of this page) I am sure you will get more responses. See you there.
I have the extra vertebrae also..I was told that this in its self doesn't cause pain .. It does however weaken the lower back which makes a low back injury much more likely ..In my case it is one of the contributing factors to a injury to the S1,L3L4L5 they call the extra vertebrae a S2..It will be fused to the S1 when i have the surgery done to repair the other injuries hopefully this will strengthen my back enough to keep me from having a third back surgery...
I was told in my 20's I had this extra (not completely formed) vertebrae at the end of my spine. Through out my life, pain in lower back came and went. I am now 62 (and otherwise in good shape), yet the pain is almost constant, unless I'm sitting or lying down. My brother also has this...5 years older and doesn't have any complaints. It's inherited. I have just found a Chiropractor in Houston who is helping with it. In a recent x-ray, it showed that the little "extra" that is there is impinging on some nerves around the end of my spine. She is more of a holistic and alternative medicine type chiropractor that I was referred to with rave reviews. She's the first one to show me on x-ray where the pain and inflammation are coming from. I'm hoping for relief with her treatments.
Well I just had my second round of injections (first time was done on lower right side and this time was lower left side where I experience most of my pain) and so far I'm not feeling any relief. My doctor had mentioned that I could be experiencing some of pain from the joint and the extra vertebrae rubbing together at times. And he also said that more than likely my pain is coming from more than one source. I have symptoms of pain from the herniated disc (for instance when I bend forward) and I also have pain when I bend back which could be the joint. Such a guessing game when it comes to figuring out where the most pain is coming from. Hopefully, soon, we will have it pinned!
I don't have an extra vertabra but I have a close friend that does. It was discovered quite by accident. She does not have any pain from it.
I agree that a second opinion may be a good idea. I think that unless there is a problem with the extra vertabra structure your pain is most likely due to your disc.
Please let us know what you find out. We all learn from one another.
I have an extra vertebrae in my lower back. I'm not sure it is fully formed but it is there and from what I can tell it had nothing to do with my back problems.
I had a collapsed disk at the L1 S5 level which was just above the extra vertebrae and I had a spinal fusion.
Now, I still have pain but they are thinking it is the L4 disk that has arthritis and it has deflated a bit. I have to have tests run on this disk.
There is also the off hand chance it is the hardware from the fusion but I'm betting it is the disk.
I had 3 surgeons look at my back before I choose the one I wanted and none of them seemed to think the extra vertebrae was the issue.
Get another opinion to be sure and your vertebrae may not be where mine is. I do not have the extra rib.
Backs are tricky devils and I'm sure that there are those are the board who will have much better info. for you than I do.