Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Anatomy

Coccyx Fracture Overview

What is a coccyx fracture?
A person with a coccyx fracture has a broken tailbone. The tailbone, or coccyx, is the lowest section of the spinal column. The coccyx attaches to the sacrum, which is part of the pelvis. The coccyx is subject to injury when one falls, landing on the buttocks. For most people, a coccyx fracture may be painful, but is seldom serious.

What are the symptoms of a coccyx fracture?
Common symptoms of a coccyx fracture include coccyx pain that worsens with sitting. Other symptoms include tenderness, swelling, and bruising over the tailbone. If the fracture is displaced, there may be deformity at the site.

How does the doctor treat a coccyx fracture?
Treatment for a coccyx fracture includes rest, cold compresses, and pain medications. A doughnut shaped pillow can help take stress off the coccyx when sitting. Most of these fractures heal without intervention.

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Continue to Coccyx Fracture Symptoms

Last Updated: Jun 1, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Coccyx Fracture References
  1. Papadopoulos EC, Khan SN. Piriformis syndrome and low back pain: a new classification and review of the literature. Orthop Clin North Am. 2004 Jan;35(1):65-71. [15062719]
  2. Rugulies R, Krause N. Job strain, iso-strain, and the incidence of low back and neck injuries. A 7.5-year prospective study of San Francisco transit operators. Soc Sci Med. 2005 Jul;61(1):27-39. [1584795]
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