Sacral dimple

Last revised by Dr Henry Knipe on 20 Jun 2020

Sacral dimples are a clinical and radiological feature that is associated with occult spinal dysraphism (e.g. tethered cord syndrome) but are more frequently a non-significant isolated finding.

Common in healthy children (~5%) 1.

Simple sacral dimples have the following features 1:

  • <5 mm in diameter
  • <2.5 cm from the anus
  • midline without visible drainage
  • not associated with other cutaneous stigmata of spinal dysraphism (e.g. hairy tuft, rudimentary tail, hemangioma)

Ultrasound is the most commonly used modality, as well as being the modality of choice in neonatal assessment. It is used to assess whether there is any communication with the vertebral column / spinal canal. 

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