Tailbone trauma is an injury to the small bone at the lower tip of the spine.
Actual fractures of the tailbone (coccyx) are not common. Tailbone trauma usually involves bruising of the bone or pulling of the ligaments.
Backward falls onto a hard surface, such as a slippery floor or ice, are the most common cause of this injury.
For tailbone trauma where no spinal cord injury is suspected:
If you suspect injury to the neck or spine, do not attempt to move the patient.
Do NOT attempt to move the patient if you think there may be injury to the spinal cord.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call for immediate medical help if:
Choi SB, Cwinn AA. Pelvic trauma. In: Marx JA, ed. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 52.
Vora A. Coccydynia. In: Frontera, WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD Jr, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 103.
Review Date: 8/14/2012
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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