(Tailbone Fracture; Broken Tailbone)
DefinitionA coccyx fracture is a broken tailbone. The coccyx is the lowest part of the backbone or spine. It is small and shaped like a triangle. The bone curves gently from the end of the spine into the pelvis.
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CausesCoccyx fracture is caused by trauma. Trauma may be caused by:
- Childbirth, which may result in a newborn breaking the mother's coccyx
Risk FactorsCoccyx fractures are more common in women. Other risk factors that may increase your chance of a coccyx fracture include:
- Increased age
- Certain diseases or conditions that result in bone or mineral loss, such as abnormal or absent menstrual cycles or menopause
- Decreased muscle mass
- Certain congenital bone conditions
- Participating in certain activities, such as skating or contact sports that may lead to falls in a seated position
SymptomsA coccyx fracture may cause:
- Pain that increases with sitting or getting up from a chair
- Pain that increases during a bowel movement
- Tenderness over the tailbone
DiagnosisYou will be asked about your symptoms and how the injury occurred. A physical exam will be done. The exam may include a rectal exam. If the coccyx is fractured, your doctor may feel abnormal movement of the coccyx. You will experience pain. X-rays may or may not be needed.
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