Broken shoe caused a fall downstairs

Susan -

Original posting 2002-09-01:

On August 19, 2002, I was at a lawyers' office for the closing on my new house. After the closing, we descended a flight of five stairs. On the first stair, the heel broke off my (brand-new, first-time-worn) left shoe and went flying. I fell on my tailbone and bumped on it down the other four stairs. Anyone reading this knows that I was in agony for several days.

It's a week and a day later. After many hot showers and ThermaCare heat wraps and much Tiger Balm, a couple of joints in the area have "popped" affording me some relief. What's left now is sort of a pinching sensation, less when I stand, more when I sit, making it hard to walk. When I move the wrong way I get a sharp pain at the very inside top of my right "cheek" that feels like a bee sting from the inside. Also, there is an aching pain associated with bowel functioning (it's worse when I have to "go" and then better afterwards.)

I'm concerned I may have a pinched nerve. Has this happened to anyone, & how was it treated? Also, I've read a lot about internal adjustments - gross as it sounds, I think I may need to have it done. I'm interested in hearing whether it worked for people, whether it hurt, and who exactly you go to have it done.

I am functional (barely), but the rest of my body hurts from altering the way I bend down, stand up, reach for things, etc. I'm sleeping OK because I sleep on my stomach anyway, but I hurt worst of all when I wake up, it's so hard to get out of bed and moving! Plus, I'm a very active person and right now I feel about a hundred years old, only able to walk slowly about 1/2 mile before I run out of gas. And I have a sweet little sporty car that I wanted for a long time and worked hard to get and right now is so painful to drive! You should see the folded towels and pillow arrangement I've set up in the driver's seat, it's pretty funny.

If this doesn't heal I am going to sue the pants off of the shoe company, the store that sold them to me, and the lawyers' office where I fell. Somehow, I don't think just getting my sixty bucks back on the shoes will make up for all the pain and aggravation I'm dealing with now. It's sucking the joy out of buying and moving into my very first house, I can't unpack my clothes or rearrange the furniture or pull up the bamboo that's taking over the garden in the back. Grrrr!

I send all the sympathy and healing thoughts in the world to those on this board who have been dealing with this pain for months or years. I can only imagine what it does to you dealing with these sensations and feelings in the long term.

Thanks - Susan

Update 2002-09-08:

I had x-rays done on September 04. My chiropractor received a written summary of the results (not the actual x-ray films themselves). I have a comminuted nondisplaced fracture of the lower sacrum, visible in a lateral view. In other words, my lower sacrum is broken into several pieces but they're all still located where they belong.

Of course there's nothing they can do but let it heal. I am going to get copies of the x-ray films so I can see for myself what's going on. My husband explored the spine/sacrum/coccyx with his fingertips; he said it feels like the usual up-and-down line of the spine is knocked slightly to the left at the lower sacrum/upper coccyx. Maybe he was just feeling one of the separated pieces.

Update 2004-02-01:

Over a year has passed since my incident. I improved by about 85% within 6 months and since then no further improvement. The area aches in the AM when I get out of bed, after any prolonged exercise, after an afternoon of housecleaning, and sometimes for no reason at all. I can generally go about my daily business with no problem; it's just reduced my overall enjoyment of life and generally makes me feel older than I am.

I'm now pregnant with my first child. I've read with interest postings by other women about the interaction between the stress of pregnancy/childbirth and their tailbone problems. If anyone else is out there who's gone through it, I'd really love to hear from you off-list; please email me at My very strong preference is for natural childbirth and I'd like to avoid a cesarean at all costs, but if I'm likely to have horrible tailbone pain on top of the pain we all expect to have during childbirth, I just don't know how realistic this is. Thanks! Susan

What is coccydynia? | Investigation and diagnosis | Treatment | Coping with coccyx pain | Find a doctor or specialist

Medical papers | Personal experiences | Links to other sites | Support groups | Site map