J. Böttcher, A. Petrovitch, P. Sörös, A. Malich, S. Hussein, W. A. Kaiser

November 2003, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 147 - 151 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-003-0634-8

First Online: 22 November 2003

Conjoined lumbosacral nerve roots (CLNR) are the most common anomalies involving the lumbar nerve structures which can be one of the origins of failed back syndromes. They can cause sciatica even without the presence of a additional compressive impingement (such as disc herniation, spondylolisthesis or lateral recess stenosis), and often congenital lumbosacral spine anomalies (such as bony defects) are present at the “conjoined sheaths”. This congenital anomaly has been reported in 14% of cadaver studies, but myelographic or computed tomographic studies have revealed an incidence of approximately 4% only. Diagnostic methods such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are helpful for determination of the exact anatomical relations in this context. We present five typical cases of conjoined nerve roots observed during a 1 year period, equivalent to 6% of our out-patients without a history of surgical treatment on the lumbar spine. In all cases with suspicious radiological findings MRI or lumbar myelography combined with CT and multiplanar reconstructions is recommended.

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