While you may know what the tailbone is or where it is in the body, you may not know you can actually break it. It’s helpful to recognize the signs and symptoms of a broken tailbone in the event you suffer an accident or trauma to the area.
If you’ve broken your tailbone as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may have the opportunity to seek monetary recovery for your injury and losses.
What Is The Tailbone And Where Is It Located?
Your tailbone, formally known as the coccyx, is a bone at the very bottom of the spine. It consists of three to five fused bones called vertebrae.
The tailbone is important, as this is the point where several muscles, tendons, and ligaments connect. Additionally, the tailbone helps keep you steady and supports your weight when you sit down.
Because of the importance of the tailbone, injury to the area can be particularly painful and uncomfortable. It can easily interfere with your movement and daily life.
What Causes A Broken Tailbone?
Injury to the tailbone happens when you experience trauma in the area. Common causes of a broken tailbone include:
- Falls, especially when you fall in a seated position and land on a hard surface
- A blow to the tailbone, like one you may experience during a serious car accident or truck accident
- Friction or repetitive straining
A broken tailbone can happen rather quickly, but the effects can last for quite some time, depending on the severity of the injury.
Signs Of A Broken Tailbone
The symptoms you may experience vary based on the type of tailbone injury. Keep in mind the tailbone area can also suffer bruising.
Signs that may indicate tailbone injury, including a broken tailbone, include:
- Dull or sharp tailbone pain
- Pain that’s worsened when you stand from a seated position
- Tenderness in the tailbone area
- Pain that intensifies with prolonged sitting or direct pressure in the area
- Painful intercourse and/or bowel movements
- Numbness of tingling down one or both legs
- Swelling in the area
If you experience any of the above symptoms, it’s best to seek medical attention immediately. Either way, if you suffer any trauma in the area of your tailbone, getting a thorough medical examination can help determine whether you’ve injured your tailbone and allow you to begin treatment right away.
Treatment For A Broken Tailbone
Treatment for tailbone injuries depends on the exact injury and how bad it is. For more minor injuries, your doctor may recommend:
- NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to reduce swelling and pain
- Regular heat to ease pain and relax the muscles
- Cold therapy for the lower back
- Sitting on a soft donut pillow to avoid putting direct pressure on the tailbone
More substantial injuries may require:
- Nerve blocks to relieve frequent pain and inflammation
- Physical therapy
- Massage therapy
Tailbone injuries don’t usually require surgery, but if the broken tailbone is severe, surgery may be necessary for maximum recovery. Surgical treatment often includes a partial coccygectomy, the removal of part of your coccyx, or a total coccygectomy to remove the entire coccyx.
Can You Recover Compensation For A Broken Tailbone?
If your broken tailbone was caused by another person’s actions, you could potentially pursue compensation for your injury.
For example, if your broken tailbone is the result of a slip and fall accident, you may have the opportunity to hold the property owner or tenant liable. Your damages could include monetary recovery for your medical bills, therapy and rehabilitation, and other financial losses.
A personal injury attorney can determine whether you have a valid claim for compensation and calculate the value of your case to ensure you obtain full and fair financ