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Sacral Dimples: What Are They, Types, Treatment, and Why Do They Occur?

Sacral dimples are a relatively common anatomical feature, but many people are not entirely familiar with them. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of sacral dimples, exploring what they are, the different types that exist, potential treatment options, and the underlying reasons for their occurrence. By the end of this article, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of this intriguing feature.

What Are Sacral Dimples?

Sacral dimples, also known as sacral pits or sacral clefts, are small, shallow depressions or indentations located near the base of the spine, specifically in the sacral region. They can be found just above the crease between the buttocks. Sacral dimples can vary in size and depth, and they are typically harmless and painless.

Types of Sacral Dimples: Simple vs. Complex

  1. Simple Sacral Dimples: Simple sacral dimples are relatively common and are usually benign. They are shallow, small depressions in the skin and often appear as small pit or dimples. Simple sacral dimples do not typically lead to any underlying health issues.
  2. Complex Sacral Dimples: Complex sacral dimples are deeper and may have more significant implications. They are often associated with underlying spinal abnormalities, such as tethered cord syndrome or spina bifida. Complex sacral dimples may require medical evaluation and treatment.

Why Do Sacral Dimples Occur?

The exact cause of sacral dimples is not always clear, but several factors can contribute to their development:

  1. Congenital Development: Many sacral dimples are present from birth and may be a result of how the spine and skin form during fetal development.
  2. Genetic Factors: There may be a genetic component to the occurrence of sacral dimples, as they can run in families.
  3. Underlying Spinal Abnormalities: In cases of complex sacral dimples, the dimple may be a visible indicator of an underlying spinal abnormality, such as a tethered spinal cord or spina bifida.

Treatment Options for Sacral Dimples

  1. Observation and Monitoring: Simple sacral dimples that do not show any signs of infection, irritation, or underlying issues may only require regular observation by a healthcare provider.
  2. Imaging Studies: If there are concerns about a complex sacral dimple, a healthcare provider may order imaging studies, such as an MRI or ultrasound, to assess the underlying spinal structures.
  3. Surgical Intervention: In cases where a complex sacral dimple is associated with an underlying spinal abnormality, surgery may be necessary to correct the issue and prevent further complications.

When to Seek Medical Evaluation

While most sacral dimples are harmless, there are certain situations where seeking medical evaluation is important:

  1. Infection or Irritation: If the sacral dimple becomes infected, red, swollen, or painful, or if there is any discharge, it should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.
  2. Complex Dimples: If the sacral dimple is deep, large, or complex, or if there are other concerning symptoms such as motor or sensory deficits, it’s crucial to consult a medical specialist.
  3. Family History of Spinal Issues: If there is a family history of spinal abnormalities, it is advisable to have the sacral dimple assessed by a healthcare provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

. What is a sacral dimple?

  • A sacral dimple is a small, shallow indentation or depression in the skin located near the base of the spine, typically just above the buttock crease.

Are sacral dimples common?

  • Yes, sacral dimples are relatively common, and many individuals have them without any associated health issues.

What causes sacral dimples to occur?

  • The exact cause is not always clear, but it can be attributed to congenital development, genetic factors, or, in some cases, underlying spinal abnormalities.

Are there different types of sacral dimples?

  • Yes, there are two main types of sacral dimples: simple sacral dimples, which are usually harmless, and complex sacral dimples, which are associated with underlying spinal abnormalities.

How can I differentiate between a simple and a complex sacral dimple?

  • Simple sacral dimples are typically small and shallow, while complex sacral dimples are deeper and often associated with underlying spinal issues


Sacral dimples, while often harmless, can be indicative of underlying spinal issues in some cases. Understanding the types of sacral dimples, the potential reasons for their occurrence, and the available treatment options is essential for informed decision-making. If you or your child has a sacral dimple, consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate course of action, ensuring the best possible health outcomes.

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