Block vertebrae is when two or more vertebrae are fused. It’s present from birth and can cause pain and reduced range of motion. Treatment may include medications, physical therapy, or surgery.
Your spine provides structure and support for your body. It also protects your spinal cord and spinal nerves from injury.
Some people can be born with several vertebrae that are fused together. This is called block vertebrae.
This article reviews block vertebrae in more detail, including symptoms, causes, and treatment options.
Block vertebrae happen when two or more vertebrae in your spine are fused together. The fusion
Some of the potential symptoms of block vertebrae include:
Block vertebrae is a congenital condition. That means that it’s present from birth.
During development in the womb, what will eventually become the spine forms around the early spinal cord. Individual vertebrae are then formed through a process called segmentation.
Block vertebrae happens when segmentation doesn’t occur properly. The result is two or more vertebrae that are fused together.
It’s unknown exactly why some people are born with block vertebrae while others are not. However, it’s associated with
It’s also important to point out that vertebrae fusions
Block vertebrae is diagnosed using imaging. The types of imaging technology that may be used include:
Using imaging, a doctor can see that two or more vertebrae are fused together. The height of the block vertebrae is typically
Other features observed with imaging can also distinguish block vertebrae. Intervertebral discs may be basic or smaller in size. Wasp-waist sign, a narrowing of the vertebrae at the site of the fusion, may also be seen.
The type of treatment that you receive for block vertebrae can depend on whether you have symptoms and, if so, how severe they are.
Some potential treatment options may include one or a combination of the following:
Block vertebrae happens when two or more of your vertebrae are fused together. It most often affects the vertebrae in the neck, although it may occur in other parts of the spine as well.
The potential symptoms caused by block vertebrae can include pain, reduced range of motion, and spinal deformities. The effects of block vertebrae may lead to degeneration of adjacent areas of the spine, resulting in complications.
For some individuals, conservative treatment with medications and physical therapy may be enough to manage symptoms. For others, surgery may be recommended to prevent complications and improve quality of life.