Broken Tailbone or Coccyx Fracture: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment- MRI, Pain Killers
A Broken Tailbone is a fracture of the Coccyx. Coccyx is a triangular shaped bone located at the very end of the spine. Common causes of its fracture are, if a person falls directly on to the tailbone in a seated position or during childbirth.
Symptoms of a Broken Tailbone
- Pain in the coccyx area after direct trauma or fall on to the coccyx area.
- Pain upon sitting.
- Bruising in the tail bone area.
- Swelling in the tail bone area.
- Patient may also have nausea.
- Pain may be there during bowel movements.
- Pain may be there during sexual intercourse.
Causes of a Broken Tailbone
- Direct trauma to the coccyx such as falling on to a seated position e.g. in sports such as skating.
- Childbirth may also cause fracture to the coccyx.
- As a person ages, their bones become more brittle making them more susceptible to fracture.
- It is more common in females than males, as females have a broader pelvis making them more prone to coccyx injury or fracture.
- Nutritional deficiencies result in weaker bones making the coccyx more susceptible to fracture.
- Bone disorders such as osteoporosis predispose an individual to coccyx fracture.
- Decreased muscle mass in the coccyx area may also cause fracture.
Treatment of a Broken Tailbone
- In case of a fractured coccyx, the patient should seek medical help immediately.
- Physical exam comprising of rectal and neurological exam is done.
- An X-ray, MRI or CT scan helps in confirming the diagnosis.
- Rest is advised as it is the best treatment in many cases.
- High fiber diet should be consumed to prevent constipation.
- Pain killers may be taken to alleviate the pain.
- Stool softeners can be taken to make bowel movements more pain free.
- Patient should sit more on hard surfaces as this reduces the pressure on the coccyx.
- A ring or donut cushion should be used while sitting to take off the pressure from coccyx.
- Surgery may be required for displaced fractures.
- If the pain continues then a coccygectomy may be done in which the coccyx is removed surgically.