Contusion, Coccyx/Sacrum - University of Minnesota Medical Center
 
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Contusion: Coccyx Or Sacrum

You have a CONTUSION of the coccyx or sacrum. The sacrum is the triangular bone at the base of the spine that joins the pelvic bones. The coccyx (tailbone) is the last bone of the sacrum that hangs down in a point like a small tail. A contusion is a bruise with swelling and some bleeding under the skin. You have no broken bones. This injury takes a few days to a few weeks to heal.

A crack (fracture) in the coccyx bone causes the same symptoms as a contusion of this bone. Often, x-rays are not taken of this area since the treatment is the same. A fracture of this bone will take about four weeks to heal.

Home Care:

  1. Try to find a position of comfort. Try lying on your side with your knees bent up towards your chest and a pillow between your knees.

  2. Apply an ice pack (crushed or cubed ice in a plastic bag, wrapped in a towel) for 20 minutes every 2-4 hours during the first two days after a new injury.

  3. You may use acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) to control pain, unless another pain medicine was prescribed. [ NOTE: If you have chronic liver or kidney disease or ever had a stomach ulcer or GI bleeding, talk with your doctor before using these medicines.]

  4. A bruised tailbone causes pain when sitting. You may try using a "donut pillow" which is a foam pillow that has a hole in the center to prevent pressure on the tailbone. You can obtain this at a pharmacy or orthopedic supply store.

Follow Up

with your doctor or this facility if your symptoms do not start to improve after one week.

[NOTE: If X-rays were taken, they will be reviewed by a radiologist. You will be notified of any new findings that may affect your care.]

Get Prompt Medical Attention

if any of the following occur:

  • Pain becomes worse or spreads to one or both legs

  • Weakness or numbness in one or both legs

  • Loss of bowel or bladder control

  • Numbness in the groin area

  • Redness, warmth or drainage from the skin