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Coccyx Injury

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

What is a coccyx injury?

A coccyx (tailbone) injury may include a fracture or dislocation.

Vertebral Column

What are the signs and symptoms of a coccyx injury?

Coccyx pain may last for a short time or continue longer than 2 months. You may have any of the following:

  • Pain when you sit or stand
  • Pain in your buttocks that spreads to your thighs or legs
  • Pain during bowel movements, when having sex, and when bending or lifting objects
  • Bruises or swelling on your coccyx or lower back
  • Low backache or pressure in your pelvis
  • Trouble standing up or walking

How is a coccyx injury diagnosed?

  • A rectal exam will be done to check for tenderness and the position of your coccyx.
  • An x-ray may be done to look for a coccyx fracture.

How is a coccyx injury treated?

  • Reduction may be needed if you have a dislocated coccyx. Your healthcare provider will move your tailbone into the correct position by hand.
  • Medicines may be needed to relieve pain or to make it easier and less painful to have a bowel movement.

How can I manage my symptoms?

  • Use a donut-shaped cushion to decrease pain and support your coccyx when you sit.
  • Apply ice to help decrease swelling and pain. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel and place it on your coccyx for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed.
  • Sleep on a firm mattress. Place a pillow under your knees if you sleep on your back. Or, sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees. This will decrease pain and tension in your coccyx and back.

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You cannot move your legs.
  • Your legs suddenly go numb.

When should I seek immediate care?

  • You have severe pain.

When should I call my doctor?

  • You have trouble urinating or having a bowel movement.
  • Your pain or swelling gets worse or do not go away with treatment.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.