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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
What is a coccyx injury?
A coccyx (tailbone) injury may include a fracture or dislocation.
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.
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