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Tailbone trauma

Contents of this page:


Tailbone (coccyx)
Tailbone (coccyx)

Alternative Names    Return to top

Coccyx injury

Definition    Return to top

Tailbone trauma is an injury to the small bone at the lower tip of the spine.

Considerations    Return to top

Actual fractures of the tailbone (coccyx) are not common. Tailbone trauma usually involves bruising of the bone or pulling of the ligaments.

Causes    Return to top

Backward falls onto a hard surface, such as a slippery floor or ice, are the most common cause of this injury.

Symptoms    Return to top

First Aid    Return to top

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    Return to top

Do not attempt to move the patient if there you think there may be injury to the spinal cord.

When to Contact a Medical Professional    Return to top

Call for immediate medical help if:

Prevention    Return to top

References    Return to top

Biundo JJ. Disorders of the Hip Region. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 284.

Cwinn AA. Transverse Fractures of the coccyx and Sacrum; Coccygeal Fracture. In: Marx, J, ed. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2006:chap 52.

Update Date: 8/12/2008

Updated by: Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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