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After a fall on my tailbone, what should I do next?

Age: 30 - 39
Orthopaedic Surgery Spine Health
DOCTOR’S ANSWER (2)

Sorry to hear about your injury. Your tailbone is most likely to be painful when pressed on, when sitting and leaning back and when sitting to get out of bed every morning. Hopefully no issues when you are passing urine or motion; if not, please seek urgent consultation for an MRI scan.

Two things may have occurred during the fall:

  1. A buttock/tailbone contusion in which the pain usually lasts for about a month before it gradually and naturally settles down on its own without any treatment apart from reducing, cushioning or changing sitting postures. Do NOT massage or press on the tailbone to injure it further.
  2. More serious; you could have a tailbone fracture in which the pain, especially when sitting, will last for months before subsiding slowly. This will require an Xray (+/- MRI) to confirm and hence a medical consultation is usually needed.

Dr Fong Shee Yan
MBBS, FAMS, FRCS, MMed Ortho

MOUNT ALVERNIA HOSPITAL
820 THOMSON ROAD
Singapore 574623

155 views 11 Dec 2019

The tailbone, also known as the coccyx is the bone at the lower end of the spine. The spine helps to keep us upright and has nerves that are essential to relay and receive electrical signals from the brain. Injuries to the spinal area can hence result in severe health issues [1]. It is important to do a check-up should you suspect any issues with it. The most common injuries to the tailbone are a bruise and a fracture. A bruise is less severe, and it would take you a month to recover. Conversely, a fracture could take you up to 2 months to recover [2]. Therefore, you should get x rays done to rule out coccygeal or tailbone fracture. Also, you should stop all activities that cause pain to that area and rest up. You are advised to sit on cushions as this would help to relieve pressure on the spine.


References:

1. How does the spine work? Nih.gov. Published February 14, 2019. Accessed December 12, 2019.
 2.Tailbone trauma - aftercare: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Medlineplus.gov. Published 2018. Accessed December 12, 2019.

Dr Hee Hwan Tak

PINNACLE SPINE & SCOLIOSIS CENTRE

MOUNT ELIZABETH MEDICAL CENTRE
3 MOUNT ELIZABETH
#04 - 07 Singapore 228510


54 views 11 Dec 2019
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Disclaimer: Any answers provided are for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

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