J Korean Neurosurg Soc.  1976 Oct;5(2):161-170.

A Study for the Determination of the Lumbar Intervertebral Discs

  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.


Although transitional vertebrae are relatively frequent in limbosacral area, it is generally accepted that one cannot state whether the transition is due to lumbarization of S1 or sacralization of L5 from simple lumbar X-ray film alone. However, for the practical purpose, the author attempted to obtain a possible method to determine the level of the lumbosacral spine in simple X-ray films through the analysis of the 100 operated patients and 25 lumbago and/or sciatica patients. Furthermore to determine the level of the intervertebral disc space in post-operative films, a silver clip was attached near the operated region and reviewed the post-operative findings in simple lumbar X-ray films. The results were as follows : 1) To determine the level of the interverbral disc space in simple lumber X-ray films, origin of the psoas muscle shadow can be utilized as a landmark with about 80% accuracy. But if one leave the silver clip at the operated region, he can state the level in 100% accuracy with the information of pre-operative symptoms. 2) Sacralization was 10% in operated cases, 6% in non-operated cases and lumbarization was 6% in operated cases, 3.2% in non-operated cases. Spina bifida was 12% in operated cases, 11.2% in non-operated cases. Lumbar rib was 2% in all of operated and non-operated cases.

MeSH Terms

Intervertebral Disc*
Low Back Pain
Psoas Muscles
Spinal Dysraphism
X-Ray Film
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