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 when no spinal cord injury is suspected:
If you suspect injury to the neck or spine, do not attempt to move the person.
Do NOT attempt to move the person 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, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 55.
Vora A, Yin AX. Coccydynia. In: Frontera, WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD Jr, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 103.
Review Date: 1/12/2016
Reviewed By: Dennis Ogiela, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon, Danbury Hospital, Danbury, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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