MRI of Broken Tailbone, Coccyx Fracture. See what the Radiologist missed!

MRI Tips on How To See a Broken Tailbone, Coccyx Fracture.
You Can See what the Radiologist Missed!
  • Patrick Foye, M.D. discusses MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) showing of a Broken Coccyx, or Tailbone Fracture.
  • MRI shows a Fractured Coccyx.
  • Radiologists often FAIL to see these abnormalities!
The actual VIDEO is at the bottom of this page.
Here is the TEXT from the video:
  • Okay. This is just a short video showing a fracture of the tailbone, a coccyx fracture or tailbone fracture or a broken tailbone, broken coccyx, however you want to say it.
  • This is a coccyx injury that has resulted in a bony fracture at the tailbone.
  • I am Dr. Patrick Foye.
  • I am Director of the Coccyx Pain Center here in New Jersey.
  • And my website is
  • Just a quick F.Y.I., these videos are meant of course purely for educational purposes, they are not to be considered medical advice or medical care.  For that you should see a physician with experience in treating tailbone injuries and tailbone pain.
  • So getting back to this here, what I am looking at is an MRI study.
  • And just to get people oriented for starters, I am just going to move this kind of front and center here and what you’ll see is that an MRI study typically includes lots of different ways that the images are taken, lots of different slices from different angles and with different emphasis on what the signals are showing as far as how water and other content shows up on the images.
  • So here you can see many different ones.
  • Now if I click the mouse over these you’ll see that as you hover for a moment it will show you this is a “T2” image, it’s also a “sagittal” image.
  • As I hover over the next one here for a moment it’ll show you that that’s a “T1 sagittal” image.
  • So if you can see that on the image as each one shows up, these are axial images T1 and T2 axial images.
  • Some of these are more up at the lumbar spine, like this one that I have the cursor (or arrow) on now.
  • Whereas this one here does extend down through the sacrum and coccyx.
  • The point being: there are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of images in a thorough MRI study.
  • And sometimes it will only be one or two images that show the actual pathology that’s occurring at the tailbone.
  • So it’s very important that the evaluating physician look through the images carefully to look at the site where the person is actually having the pain, to make sure that the tailbone is included in the images and then to look and see whether it looks normal or abnormal.
  • What I’m going to do now is just to move this overview out of the way and I’ll show you some of the images that I’ve pulled up here, again just for educational purposes.
  • So it’s called a T1 sagittal image.
  • Sagittal images: you can think of slices being done from left to right.
  • So if a slice went right down the midline of the patient separating them into a right half and a left half, that would be a sagittal image.
  • And that’s what you can see here in this particular image.
  • Here up at this level would be, where my pointer is here, that would be up at the lumbar spine.
  • So up around the beltline and then down through here is the sacrum and the coccyx is down below that.
  • And one of the things we can see: typically the sacrum (usually not always, but usually) has five sacral segments.
  • So I’ll count those off here: segments one, two, three, four and five.
  • And what that means is that this dark line here is the sacral coccygeal joint, where the sacrum meets the coccyx.
  • And then down below that are the coccygeal bony segments: one, two, three, four that we can see in this particular slice or image here.
  • So where does that leave us?
  • Well, I have this pulled up for you already, typically you would have needed to scroll through perhaps hundreds of images to get to this image, but for efficiency on the video I’ve already pulled it up here.
  • And the main thing that should stand out to you is if you look at this first bony segment of the coccyx here, you can see that that sort of dark line going through it.
  • So instead of looking like a rectangle that has a similar shading or intensity throughout the entire bony segment and looking similar to the vertebral bony segments up here and the sacrum and the ones down here in the lower coccyx, this one right here you can clearly tell is abnormal in its appearance.
  • So that’s point number one.
  • And the reason it’s abnormal in this particular patient is that there is a fracture of this first bony segment of the coccyx.
  • Now one of the things you can also do in terms of looking at how recent that fracture may be, is also looking on other images such as T2 images or STIR images.
  • And I have over here some what are called STIR images which help to have fluid show up brightly.
  • And here what you can see is this same slice (because these if I scroll through these you’ll see that both of the images scroll through together and also you can see how you would be scrolling through image after image and you need to get to the right image or two, to show the pathology). And by looking here at the image on the left side of the screen, you can see right here where the abnormality comes into play, it matches up right here where there’s brightness within that particular segment of the coccyx.
  • The reason for that brightness is because there is fluid content, extra fluid content at the site of the coccyx fracture.
  • So again this is just a quick view of a couple of images on an MRI showing a tailbone fracture and the images here at the right showing that that fracture is relatively recent or at least that there’s ongoing inflammation at that fracture site.
  • So I hope that this is helpful in terms of evaluation of the sacrum and coccyx in particular on MRI studies when looking for a coccyx fracture.
  • For more information please go to the website
  • Thank you.
Here is the actual VIDEO:

Here is the screenshot thumbnail image for the video:
MRI of a Broken Tailbone, Coccyx Fracture, Coccyx Pain, Tailbone Pain, Coccydynia

MRI of a Broken Tailbone, Coccyx Fracture, Coccyx Pain, Tailbone Pain, Coccydynia

To get your copy of the book “Tailbone Pain Relief Now!” go to:
For more information on coccyx pain, or to be evaluated at Dr. Foye’s Tailbone Pain Center in the United States, go to:
Patrick Foye, M.D.
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