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What does shadow on tailbone seen in an X ray indicate?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1999
Answered : 705 Questions
Question
I have been told that I have a shadow on top of my tailbone seen during an xray. My doctor cannot tell what the shadow is. I have been offered the option of a CT Scan. I had the xray done because I have had some discomfort in my lower back for the last month. I had begun a vigorous workout routine about six months ago in order to lose some weight. The discomfort began about a month ago. The doctor said that I may have lost some of my lordotic curve during workouts and that such is pretty easy to correct. However, I am concerned about the possible range of issues that could be raised by the shadow. I had previously sent in this question without the xray. I have, however, now attached the xray. Is there any thing apparent to the xray?
Posted Mon, 18 Aug 2014 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
 
 
Answered by Dr. Karl Logan 23 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Repeat the Xray

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thanks for your question and your Xray.

I can see what the radiologist who reported the Xray is pointing out. I think the situation could easily be clarified by repeating the Xray. If the density over the coccyx remains then cross sectional imaging with a CT scan or an MRI ( no ionizing radiation ) would be indicated.

I hope this answers your question.

Best wishes
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: What does shadow on tailbone seen in an X ray indicate? 15 minutes later
what are possibilities? The doctor is going to send me script for a ct scan i believe.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Karl Logan 24 minutes later
Brief Answer:
options discussed

Detailed Answer:
Based on your Xray this could be

1. faeces contrasting with air in your rectum
2. a soft tissue density secondary to your prior inguinal hernia repair
3. a soft tissue mass arising from your coccyx or any other organ or tissue within your pelvis.

Xray gives you a 2D image of a 3D structure and so its impossible to know in what plane the abnormality lies without crossectional imaging such as CT or MRI.

Its easy to be unnerved by this type of finding and jump to conclusions. I would wait until you have further information.

I suspect it will turn out to be something innocuous such as number 1 but I think its important to further investigate further.

I hope this answers your question.

Best wishes
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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