Imaging Coccygeal Trauma and Coccydynia

Radiographics. 2020 Jul-Aug;40(4):1090-1106. doi: 10.1148/rg.2020190132.


The coccygeal region has complex anatomy, much of which may contribute to or be the cause of coccyx region pain (coccydynia). This anatomy is well depicted at imaging, and management is often dictated by what structures are involved. Coccydynia is a common condition that is known to be difficult to evaluate and treat. However, imaging can aid in determining potential causes of pain to help guide management. Commonly, coccydynia (coccygodynia) occurs after trauma and appears with normal imaging features at static neutral radiography, but dynamic imaging with standing and seated lateral radiography may reveal pathologic coccygeal motion that is predictive of pain. In addition, several findings seen at cross-sectional imaging in patients with coccydynia can point to a source of pain that may be subtle and easily overlooked. Radiology can also offer a role in management of coccygeal region pain with image-guided pain management procedures such as ganglion impar block. In addition to mechanical coccyx pain, a host of other conditions involving the sacrococcygeal region may cause coccydynia, which are well depicted at imaging. These include neoplasm, infection, crystal deposition, and cystic formations such as pilonidal cyst. The authors review a variety of coccydynia causes, their respective imaging features, and common management strategies.©RSNA, 2020.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Coccyx / diagnostic imaging*
  • Coccyx / injuries*
  • Coccyx / pathology
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Low Back Pain / therapy
  • Pain Management / methods
  • Sacrococcygeal Region / diagnostic imaging*
  • Sacrococcygeal Region / pathology