My very first broken tailbone

James Taylor - zachart@CLEMSON.EDU

My name is James Taylor (no, I wasn't named after the singer). I had a tailbone injury back in September of 2003. I am a college student and a bunch of friends and I went out to the nearby lake to off a huge rope swing. The drop from the top of the rope swing to the water was measured at 35 feet. So, if you hit the landing wrong you could seriously injure yourself. I went off of the rope swing a couple of times and felt no pain. The third time I went off the swing, however, I came up to the surface with excruciating pain. I refused to go off the swing anymore that day. After a couple of hours the pain subsided...or so I thought. I went back to the rope swing a couple more times that week before I went to the doctor.

After two weeks of extreme pain and soreness, I decided it was time to go to the infirmary. I was consulted by a doctor. He said that I did not need x-rays because he knew from his tests that my tailbone was broken. For the next four weeks I experienced severe pain to my coccyx while sitting through my classes. I was too ashamed to carry a soft pad or donut around to sit on.

After about 2 months I fully recovered from my injury. I am happy to say that I'm free of any coccyx pain! I have met one other student at my University that has also had similar coccyx troubles. It is always good to find someone to share my story with and to find a source of support.

I love your website, I definitely am thankful that I am not alone in this.

Sincerely, James Taylor

Note from Jon Miles:

According to the doctors who specialise in coccyx pain, the coccyx doesn't actually get broken. It is naturally in two or three segments, linked by ligaments. An injury can weaken the connections between these segments, or between the coccyx and the sacrum. Then if you sit down, that forces the weak joint apart, causing pain.

Doctors who are not experienced in treating coccydynia think that the coccyx must be broken, because medical textbooks wrongly say that the coccyx is fused into a single bone. When the doctor sees separate pieces on the x-ray, he or she assumes there must be a fracture.

Updated 2003-12-14

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