Thin Sagittal images for Tailbone MRI or CT scans

  • MRI and CT scans take images similar to taking a series of slices.
  • Imagine a block of cheese on a slicing machine in a delicatessen. You could slice the block of cheese from left to right, from top to bottom, or from front to back.

    • In medical imaging, there are different terms for these different types of slices:
    • Slices from left to right (such as a vertical slice that appears to split the body into a right side and the left side): These are “sagittal” views.
    • Slices from top to bottom (e.g. in the standing position this would be like taking a horizontal slice up at the level of the head, another at the level of the neck, another at the level of the chest/torso, another at the abdomen, another of the pelvis, of course in reality would be multiple such slices at any such given level): These are “axial” views.
    • Slices from front to back: These are “coronal” views.
  • In general, the sagittal views are usually the most helpful for looking at coccyx anatomical abnormalities.

    • THIN sections: Another factor is that MRI of the coccyx needs to be done using multiple thin sagittal slices at the midline, otherwise it is possible that there would be no slice (image) right at the level of the coccyx.
    • That is especially important for the lower coccyx, since that is the thinnest, most-narrow part of the coccyx.
    • On standard MRI images there are relatively “thick” slices. With those thick slices it can sometimes occur that one slice (image) is just to the right of the coccyx and the very next image is just to the left of the coccyx, thus missing (skipping over) the bone of interest (the coccyx).
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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.

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