Block vertebrae, fused vertebrae which, in radiographs, give
the appearance of a more or less solid bony mass.
Diagnostic findings, fused vertebrae which, in
radiographs, give the appearance of a more or less solid bony mass.
Rudimentary discal spacing (thin & flat) Patency of intervertebral
Intra-discal calcification Wasp waist deformity (segmental
Decreased lordotic angulation Flexion/extension views may
demonstrate a bentstick deformity (compensatory hypermobility)
Block vertebra (congenital synostosis)
Osseous fusion occurring between 2 vertebrae as a result of
Complete: Fusion involving the anterior & posterior elements of at
least two segments.
Incomplete: Vertebral body fusion of two segments or more
Location in order of frequency
1) Cervical spine: C2-3, C5-6
2) Lumbar spine: L4-5
3) Thoracic spine: any section
Most cases are asymptomatic
The radiographic findings are incidental to an unrelated clinical
In cases where symptoms do arise, the clinical features will relate
to compensatory hypermobility with facet joint inflammation (facet
The loss of a functional unit increases mechanical demands on
adjacent segments (usually, the one above)
Treatment is generally physiotherapy to relieve any symtoms, surgery
may be needed in special cases.
Single and Multiple block vertebra
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