Sacral dimple

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A sacral dimple (also termed pilonidal dimple or spinal dimple)[1] is a small depression in the skin, located just above the buttocks.[2][3][4][5] The name comes from the sacrum, the bone at the end of the spine, over which the dimples are found.

Sacral dimples are rare, occurring in up to 4% of the population.[1][5] The majority of these dimples are minor and do not represent any underlying disease;[1][3][5] however, the minority may be a sign of disease, notably spina bifida.[3][5] Even so, this is usually the spina bifida occulta form, which is the least serious kind.[3] Additionally, a sacral dimple may be indicative of a possible kidney problem that can be checked with an ultrasound.

Sacral dimples are usually spotted in post-natal checks by a pediatrician,[3][5] who will check:

  • whether the floor of the dimple can be seen to be covered with skin;
  • whether there is a tuft of hair in the dimple;
  • whether there are any other problems such as weak lower limbs;
  • the distance from the buttocks to the dimple (closer is better).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Flannigan, Christopher, ed. (2011). A practical guide to managing paediatric problems on the postnatal wards. Oxford: Radcliffe Pub. pp. 43, 44. ISBN 9781846195068.
  2. ^ "Sacral Dimple". Cleveland Clinic. 2018-04-19. Retrieved 2019-08-03.
  3. ^ a b c d e Lee, ACW; Kwong, NS; Wong, YC (2007). "Management of Sacral Dimples Detected on Routine Newborn Examination: A Case Series and Review" (PDF). Hong Kong Journal of Pediatrics. 12: 93–95. Retrieved 2019-08-03.
  4. ^ "Sacral Dimple". Mayo Clinic. 2018-09-13. Retrieved 2019-08-03.
  5. ^ a b c d e Zywicke, Holly A.; Rozzelle, Curtis J. (2011). "Sacral Dimples". Pediatrics in Review. 32 (3): 109–113. doi:10.1542/pir.32-3-109. PMID 21364014. S2CID 207170950.