Symptoms of a Broken Tailbone

Whether you fracture your tailbone in a car accident, slip and fall incident, or another personal injury accident, your quality of life can suffer in a number of ways. But it’s not always easy to know when you’ve broken your tailbone. Take a closer look at the common symptoms of a broken tailbone.

Locating Your Tailbone

The technical name for your tailbone is the coccyx. It is the lowest part of your spine, consisting of three to five vertebrae that fuse together from childhood to adulthood. The tailbone is located below the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral regions of the spine. 

Most people can feel their tailbone by placing a finger on the spine near the lower back. From there, you can trace your spine between your upper buttocks. You can feel your spine end there, which is where the coccyx is located.

You may not know that the tailbone plays a critical role in your mobility. It balances you and helps distribute your weight while you sit. Numerous muscles and ligaments are attached to your coccyx and a significant bundle of nerves. Together, these structures give you movement and feeling throughout your hip region.

Signs That You Fractured Your Tailbone

It can be difficult to know whether you simply injured your tailbone following an accident or car wreck or broke it. This is because pain, the primary symptom of a fractured tailbone, is also the key symptom of a bruise and other, less serious, injuries to the area. 

The presence of more than one of the following symptoms can indicate a fractured coccyx:

Extreme Pain

The pain associated with a fractured tailbone will generally be much greater than that associated with just a bruise. Not only will it be more intense, but it will last longer, too. See a doctor about pain that does not lessen after a few days or that does not respond to over-the-counter pain medication.

Difficulty Sitting or Standing

A broken tailbone can affect your ability to sit or stand for prolonged periods of time. Any tailbone injury can make sitting or standing somewhat uncomfortable. However, a broken tailbone can make it nearly impossible for you to sit or stand for any appreciable length of time. 

Moreover, the level of discomfort you experience may stay the same or worsen over time with a broken tailbone.

Nerve Damage

You should be especially concerned if you notice signs of nerve damage following a slip and fall accident or other incident. Common signs of nerve damage include numbness in your hips or legs or a pins and needles sensation below your waist. Nerve damage can also manifest as sciatica, a shooting pain that radiates from the area of your coccyx and travels down your leg.

In some cases, nerve damage can include a loss of bladder control. This is a serious situation your doctor should address immediately.

Treating a Broken Tailbone

In most cases, your doctor will recommend you take over-the-counter painkillers and rest to recover from a broken tailbone. If the over-the-counter medication is ineffective, your doctor may give you stronger prescription pain medicine. They may also recommend physical therapy as part of your recovery.

In serious cases, your doctor may recommend surgery. This is usually recommended after all other treatment options have not resolved your symptoms.

Most cases of a bruised or broken tailbone are not life-threatening. Pain medication and rest are often all that is needed to make a full recovery. However, if you notice signs of a broken tailbone that interfere with your daily life or that are not improving, get medical help right away. These could be signs of a more serious situation requiring a more intensive treatment plan.

If you hurt your tailbone in a slip and fall accident or other incident, you may be entitled to compensation to cover the medical expenses associated with your treatment. A personal injury lawyer can advise you of your next steps.

Contact the Arizona Personal Injury Lawyers at Curiel & Runion Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers Today

If you were injured in an accident in Phoenix, AZ, and need legal help, contact our Phoenix personal injury attorneys at Curiel & Runion Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case review today.

Curiel & Runion Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers
1221 E Osborn Rd. Suite 201
Phoenix, AZ 85014
(602) 595-5559