Tailbone MRI Versus CT scan for Coccyx Pain

Which is better when evaluating tailbone pain (coccyx pain), an MRI or a CT scan?
  • CT scan can be very good at showing bone, but MRI can show not only bone but ALSO give good definition of soft tissue structures.
  • Some of the soft tissue structures that show up clearly on MRI include:
    • abscess (which is essentially an infection like a pocket/collection of pus)
    • pilonidal cyst
    • other fluid collections or areas of inflammation
    • soft tissue malignancies
    • other soft tissue masses [e.g., retrorectal hamartoma, which is a mass that happens behind the rectum and immediately in front of the sacrum and coccyx],
    • fluid/inflammation within the bones (e.g., due to osteomyelitis = bone infection, which can especially occur after bed sores [pressure ulcers] or surgical removal of the elbow and [coccygectomy].
  • MRI is more expensive than CT scan
    • so insurance companies usually require people/doctors to go through more hurdles to get an MRI rather than a CT scan.
  • Radiation risks:
    • Also, CT scans unfortunately deliver radiation to the patient, whereas MRI delivers no such radiation. For all these reasons, I generally prefer
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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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