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Women's Health

Pelvic stiffness

07/08/2008

Question:

My doctor ordered an x-ray, because I have severe stiffness across the back of my pelvis. He said it showed "sclerosis of the symphysis pubis." What is this, and does it cause pain? He also said I have "phleboliths in my pelvis." And, what is this?

Answer:

The symphysis pubis is the joint where the pelvic bones come together in the front. Sclerosis is thickening of the bones around that joint. This most often is due to stress over time on the pelvis and may be painful if the joint is irritated (the pain would be felt very low in the abdomen in the front, not in the back). Phleboliths are calcium deposits in the veins, usually in the pelvis. They are extremely common and benign (although you want to make sure that your blood pressure is in good control).

Both of these findings (sclerosis of the symphysis pubis and phleboliths) are commonly seen on pelvic x-rays. They are often called “incidental findings” because they can be seen, but rarely do they cause any problems.

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Response by:

W. Fred Miser, MD W. Fred Miser, MD
Associate Professor of Family Medicine
Director of Ohio State Medicine Residency Program
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University