Questions? Call Toll-Free 1-

Contact us today. We're here for you seven days a week.

Contact Us By Phone 1-
Am I a Candidate for Surgery? Learn More
Request an MRI Review Submit Information

The L6 Vertebra


The L8 Vertebra

Most people have five vertebrae in their lumbar (lower back) region, which are named L1-L5. However, some people possess an additional lumbar vertebra located below the L5. This extra vertebra, known as the L6, is called a transitional vertebra. About 10 percent of adults have some form of spinal abnormality caused by genetics, and a sixth lumbar vertebra is among the most common of these abnormalities.

More About the L6

More often than not, the existence of an L6 does not contribute directly to troublesome spinal conditions. In fact, this vertebra is subject to the same potentially debilitating conditions most people experience at the L5 level. Another difference is the way doctors refer to conditions associated with this transitional vertebra. Rather than speak of it in terms of the L5-L6 level, it is generally referred to as the L6-S1 level – denoting an association with the sacral region just below the lumbar vertebrae.

Spinal Conditions Affecting the L6-S1

Occasionally, the L6 vertebra can become “sacralized,” or attached to the sacrum by a rudimentary joint that creates additional motion – and therefore a greater potential for motion-related stress that can lead to lower back pain. Other conditions that affect this vertebra include herniated disc, bulging disc, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis – all of which can occur at any level of the spine.

Treatment for L6 Conditions

Doctors who discover the presence of a sixth lumbar vertebra through the use of an MRI, X-ray or CT scan are likely to prescribe the same type of conservative treatments for chronic pain management as they would for someone without an L6. These methods of treatment include pain medication, physical therapy, behavior modification and more. Occasionally, conservative treatment proves ineffective and a doctor might suggest surgery as an option. Rather than settle for traditional open back surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute (LSI) to learn about advanced, endoscopic techniques that require no hospital stay and a relatively brief recuperation. Our minimally invasive procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, which means you can rediscover a life without pain in a shorter amount of time.

Need an immediate response?

Our live chat feature allows you to talk instantly with a representative.

  • - -

Download your free info packet on
Minimally Invasive
Spine Surgery

& receive our e-newsletter.



También disponible en español

What is Laser Spine Surgery? Can Laser Spine Institute Help You?

You can get these answers by attending a complimentary medical seminar.

Back to Health

Be inspired, informed and connected.

Expert answers, informational videos and inspiring stories of patients who returned to life at its fullest with Laser Spine Institute.


Laser Spine Wellness

Patient Reviews and Stories

Natalie Gulbis shares her story about her road to recovery from back pain after minimally invasive surgery.



Learn about Natalie Gulbis' Recovery

Meet our Physicians and Surgeons

Our medical professionals know that you expect excellence in terms of medical attention. We strive to go Above and Beyond your expectations and deliver quality, patient-centered care at each of our surgery centers.

Learn about our physicians & medical staff