Are Transitional Vertebra and Spina Bifida Occulta Related with Lumbar Disc Herniation and Clinical Parameters in Young Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain?
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Objective: Lumbosacral transitional vertebra (LSTV) and spina bifida occulta (SBO) are widespread within the lumbosacral spine. Their connection to lumbar disc herniation (LDH) and/or lower back pain has been debated in the current literature; however, there is no consensus. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the relationship between the frequency of LSTV and SBO with that of LDH among young patients with chronic lower back pain. Study Design: Cross-sectional. Materials and Methods: A total of 1094 patients with lower back pain, aged between 20 and 40 years, with lower back pain history persisting for longer than 12 weeks were studied. All the patients in the study were evaluated with standard pelvic radiographs and lumbar vertebra magnetic resonance imaging. The severity of pain was measured using the visual analog scale, and the effect of lower back pain on daily life activities was measured using the Oswestry disability index. The patients were separated into two groups: Group 1 consisted of patients without LDH, and Group 2 consisted of patients with LDH. Additionally, these two groups were separated into three subgroups: Non-LSTV-SBO, LSTV, and SBO. Results: It was determined that LSTV frequency was significantly higher (p=0.004) in the lumbar disc herniation group 2. In addition, the existence of LSTV increased the risk of lower back pain (p<0.001, p<0.001) and disability (p<0.001, p<0.001) in young patients with and without LDH or not. However, the presence of SBO did not increase lower back pain (p=0.251, p=0.200) and disability (p=0.134, p=0.161) in both groups. Conclusion: A relationship was detected between the frequency of LDH and LSTV in young patients with chronic lower back pain between the ages of 20 and 40 years. Also, the presence of LSTV was found to increase the risk of lower back pain and disability.