ZocdocAnswersWhat is rugger jersey appearance?

Question

What is rugger jersey appearance?

I'm a 23 year old healthy male. Recently had a physical everything was good from my blood work to everything related to my heart kidneys the works. I had an X-ray and they said there was a "Rugger Jersey Appearance." Im still unclear of what this is or what to make of it. I have had minor back pain that seems to come and go. Im active i work out almost daily and play a lot of basketball with no problems. I have looked up some of the things associated with this diagnosis and i have none of the symptoms. Last summer i also had a little bit of back pain and one time i felt a pain shoot down my left leg. But, after a few weeks of remaining active all the pain went away pretty much until this x-ray. Sometime I have minor pain from sitting down for awhile but thats it. Any sort of advice would be greatly appreciated.

Answer

As you sound like you are otherwise healthy and are quite active, hearing that anything is amiss can cause quite a bit of anxiety, and I am sorry that you are experiencing that right now. The best thing to help with your anxiety is to speak with your doctor directly. As you now know, the Rugger Jersey Spine sign can be one piece of evidence that a person can have a problem with mineralization of their bones. As you were recently told that all of your other lab work was fine, this is an especially interesting piece of information. Classically, this is a finding that occurs in the x-rays of people with chronic renal problems who develop difficulty in managing their calcium levels. Your comment that your kidneys were recently said to be fine indicates that you need to speak with your doctor directly to determine what, if anything, is amiss. Any piece of information, like an x-ray, must be taken in the appropriate context. Out of context, a piece of information such as this can mean many things or nothing at all. Please speak to your doctor directly about your concerns, and request a visit to a specialist as needed.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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