What is the treatment for coccyx

Tailbone fracture: description

A fractured tailbone is a pelvic injury. The tailbone (Os coccygis) joins the sacrum and consists of the lowest four to five vertebrae of the spine, which are usually fused together. Only the first vertebra still has the structure of a typical vertebra.

Tailbone fracture: symptoms

If the tailbone fractures, the soft tissues above the tailbone are swollen and tend to be tender. Those affected complain that they can barely sit. Certain movements are also painful when walking. Because the tailbone is the lowest pole of the central nervous system, a fracture of the tailbone causes persistent nerve pain.

Chronic pain in the tailbone region is also known as coccygodynia. This is pain that lasts for weeks and can radiate to the anal area, groin and hip area. In addition to a tailbone fracture, there can be other causes behind it.

Tailbone fracture: causes and risk factors

A broken tailbone can be the result of direct violence such as a fall or a hard step on the buttocks. A tailbone fracture can also be caused by childbirth: If the tailbone protrudes far into the pelvis, it can break under pressure from the child's head during birth.

Tailbone fracture: examinations and diagnosis

The specialist responsible for a coccyx fracture is a doctor specializing in orthopedics and trauma surgery.

anamnese

In order to determine whether the tailbone is actually broken, the doctor will first ask you exactly how the accident happened and your medical history (anamnesis). Possible questions are:

  • How exactly did the accident happen?
  • Do you have pain?
  • Did you already have complaints in the coccyx region such as pain and restricted mobility?

Investigations

The doctor will then examine your tailbone carefully and see if there are any soft tissues or other concomitant injuries. Then the doctor will examine the rectum with his finger (digital rectal examination). This can cause pain in the fracture area. A sure sign of a broken coccyx is an audible bone rubbing (crepitation).

An x-ray is always taken for further diagnosis of a coccyx fracture. A pelvic overview image and a lateral image are taken.

Tailbone fracture: differential diagnosis

Coccyx pain doesn't have to be from a fracture. Sometimes the tailbone is only bruised or partially dislocated. The pain can also result from a difficult birth or from chronic microtraumas as a result of long periods of sitting. A deep-seated rectal tumor can also be the cause of the pain.

Tailbone fracture: treatment

If the tailbone is actually broken, treatment is usually conservative. Pain relievers (analgesics) such as tramadol help against the pain. Until the break has healed, patients should also stay in bed if possible. With the help of a seat ring, the pain when sitting can be reduced. For example, a weakly inflated children's swimming ring can be used.

So that the bowel movement is not too painful and does not require strong pressing, patients should eat a diet rich in fiber. This makes the chair soft and makes it easier to leave the chair.

In principle, it is also possible to surgically remove the tailbone. However, this does not eliminate the symptoms, as the resulting scar can continue to hurt.

Read more about the therapies

Read more about therapies that can help here:

Tailbone fracture: disease course and prognosis

The course of the disease in a coccyx fracture is often protracted. While the symptoms of a sprained tailbone can subside within a week, it often takes several weeks for a fractured tailbone. In some cases develop after one Tailbone fracture also chronic pain in the coccyx (coccygodynia).

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