Sacral dimples are present at birth and are evident during an infant's initial physical exam. In most cases, further testing is unnecessary. If the dimple is very large or is accompanied by a nearby tuft of hair, skin tag or certain types of skin discoloration, your doctor may suggest imaging tests to rule out spinal cord problems.
These tests may include:
- Ultrasound. This noninvasive procedure uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of structures of the body.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). If more detail is needed, your doctor may recommend an MRI, which uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to create cross-sectional images of the body.
Treatment is unnecessary for a simple sacral dimple.
Preparing for your appointment
In general, your child won't need to see a doctor for a sacral dimple. If you have questions about the sacral dimple, you can also bring these up at your child's routine office visits.
Some questions you might want to ask your child's doctor include:
- Does my child need any tests to be sure there's no other cause?
- Does the area need any special cleaning or care?
- Is any treatment necessary?
- Is a sacral dimple ever associated with more serious conditions?
Sept. 13, 2018
- McKee-Garrett TM. Assessment of the newborn infant. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 8, 2015.
- Zywicke HA, et al. Sacral dimples. Pediatrics in Review. 2011;32:109.
- Allan PL, et al. The infant spine. In: Clinical Ultrasound. 3rd ed. 2011. Elsevier Limited. Philadelphia, Pa. https://www.clinicalkey.com/home. Accessed July 8, 2015.
- Kucera JN, et al. The simple sacral dimple: Diagnostic yield of ultrasound in neonates. Pediatric Radiology. 2015;45:211.
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