How to Distinguish between Sacral Tarlov Cyst Pain and Tailbone Pain

A few months ago I wrote about “Do Tarlov Cysts cause Pain?”

Today’s question is:

How to Distinguish between Sacral Tarlov Cyst Pain and Tailbone Pain

Usually it is not difficult to tell these conditions apart. Here’s how:

  1. Location: The location of a sacral Tarlov Cyst is more than a few inches ABOVE the location of the coccyx. An experienced physician should usually be able to tell the difference from a careful physical examination of the patient.
  2. Pressing on the tailbone: Coccyx pain can typically be reproduced by direct palpation (pressing) on to the coccyx, reproducing the patient’s typical symptoms. If the pain was coming from a sacral Tarlov cyst, then pressing on the coccyx would not reproduce the patient’s symptoms.
  3. Anesthetic injection at the tailbone: If a patient has a local anesthetic injection at the coccyx, and the initial anesthetic response gives relief of the patient’s symptoms for an hour or two (while the anesthetic is working), this would be consistent with the pain having been coming from the coccyx in the first place. (A local anesthetic at the coccyx would not be expected to in any way relieve pain/symptoms that were coming from a sacral Tarlov cyst.)

 

Patrick Foye, M.D.
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Patrick Foye, M.D.

Founder and Director at Tailbone Pain Center
Dr. Foye is an expert at treating tailbone pain (coccyx pain).

His personable, private-practice office is located on a modern, renowned, academic medical school campus, at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

For an appointment, call 973-972-2802.

http://tailbonedoctor.com/
Patrick Foye, M.D.
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