Coccyx Injury

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

  • A coccyx injury is a condition where the coccyx bone becomes dislocated, unstable, or broken. The coccyx is the small, triangular, tail-like bone that forms the end of your spine near your anus. It is made up of 3 to 5 smaller bones and has 2 to 3 parts joined together. The coccyx may break as a woman delivers a baby or when a direct blow to the area near your anus happens. A direct blow may occur during a physical fight, contact sports, or accidents, such as in a bad fall. Tumors (growths) and infections on the tissues around your coccyx may also cause injury. Arthritis may also cause your coccyx pain, or the cause of your pain may not be known.
    Picture of a normal spine


  • You may have pain when bending, having sex, lifting objects, or during bowel movements. You may also have bruises, swelling near your anus, and trouble walking or standing up. A coccyx injury may be found using a bone scan or an x-ray of your lower back. Computed tomography scan (CT scan), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may also be used. Treatments for coccyx pain include medicines, sitting in a donut-shaped support cushion, heat therapy, ice, and massage. Intrarectal manipulation or surgery to remove your coccyx may also be used to treat a coccyx injury. Treatments such as rest, medicine, or surgery can make your coccyx pain go away. This will help you return to your usual activities.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

You may be allergic to the medicines used to treat your coccyx pain. You may get an infection or bleed too much if you have surgery. Nerves, blood vessels, ligaments, muscles, and bones may get damaged. After surgery you may have tingling or lose feeling in the area where surgery was done. You may still have pain or have trouble going back to your usual activities, including sports. If your coccyx pain or injury is not treated, your pain and swelling may get worse. Talk to caregivers if you have questions about your condition, medicine, or care.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

An IV (intravenous)

is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

Medicines:

You may be given the following medicines:

  • Anesthesia: This medicine is given to make your coccyx area numb so that you do not feel as much pain.

  • Antibiotic medicine: Antibiotics may be given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by germs called bacteria. You may be given this medicine after having surgery.

  • Medicines to treat pain, swelling, or fever: These medicines are safe for most people to use. However, they can cause serious problems when used by people with certain medical conditions. Tell caregivers if you have liver or kidney disease or a history of bleeding in your stomach.

  • Steroids: This medicine may be given to decrease inflammation.

  • Stool softeners: This medicine makes it easier for you to have a bowel movement. You may need this medicine to treat or prevent constipation.

Tests:

Tests will be done where dye may be given into your body. The dye may help your caregiver see the pictures better. People who are allergic to iodine or shellfish (lobster, crab, or shrimp) may be allergic to some dyes. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to shellfish, or have other allergies.

  • Bone scan: Pictures of your bones are taken. Caregivers can look at the pictures for broken bones, infections, or cancer.

  • Computerized tomography scan: This is also called a CT scan. A special x-ray machine uses a computer to take pictures of your lower back.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging: This test is also called an MRI. During the test, you will need to lie still as pictures of your lower back are taken. Never enter the MRI room with an oxygen tank, watch, or any other metal objects. This can cause a serious injury. Tell your caregiver if you have any metal implants in your body.

Treatment options:

Ask your caregiver for more information about the following treatments:

  • Intrarectal manipulation: This procedure is done for those with unstable or dislocated coccyx. A caregiver moves your tail bone from the inside of your anus. You may need one or more treatment sessions before your coccyx becomes stable or returns to normal.

  • Spinal cord stimulation: This treatment uses mild electrical stimulation on your spinal cord. This can help make the painful area numb so that you feel less pain.

  • Surgery: You may need to have a coccygectomy if your pain does not go away using other treatments. This is surgery to remove all or part of your coccyx bone. You may need this surgery if damage to your coccyx is severe (very bad). This may also be done if the cause of your coccyx pain is not known.

Vital signs:

Caregivers will check your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature. They will also ask about your pain. These vital signs give caregivers information about your current health.

© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of the Blausen Databases or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Coccyx Injury (Inpatient Care)

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