A broken tailbone or fractured coccyx as it is also known occurs after a fall where the patient lands directly on the tailbone at the very base of the spine.
Symptoms of a broken tailbone
Coccyx fracture symptoms include pain, often quite severe pain after an impact or fall onto the very bottom bone of the spine. Following the injury there will be pain when sitting over the coccyx area. The patient may also experience pain during bowel movements or sexual intercourse.
The coccyx bone is the pointy bone right at the very base of the spine. It is actually 4 bones that have been fused or stuck together rather than one single bone. It sits below the sacrum which consists of 5 bones which are also fused.
Treatment of a coccyx fracture
If you think you may have a fractured coccyx, visit your doctor as soon as possible. A doctor may examine your spine and may perform a digital examination of the rectum to try to reproduce the pain. An MRI or CT scan may be requested to confirm the diagnosis.
In most cases, rest is the best treatment. A doctor may prescribe pain killers and stool softeners to make bowel movements more comfortable. A ring (or doughnut) cushion may help to make sitting more comfortable. Surgery is occasionally required to fix fractures which may have been displaced.