Did you break your tailbone in an auto accident? A broken tailbone can feel like a mild irritation or a raging, end-of-the-world-it-hurts-to-breathe pain. You may have bruising at the site. Some people experience difficulty sitting, standing, or lying comfortably.
In severe cases, you might feel numbness from your leg to your foot. Due to the location, a broken tailbone could interrupt bodily functions, including urination and defecation. The wide range of pain makes it challenging to describe precisely how a broken tailbone feels, but it will make sitting difficult.
Can You Break Your Tailbone in a Car Accident?
Yes, you can break your tailbone in a car accident. The coccyx is what we commonly call the tailbone. It is pronounced “cock-sis,” and we will use both terms interchangeably. The coccyx is at the bottom of your spine. While most people injure it by falling, you can hurt your tailbone in a car accident.
How Would a Tailbone Injury Happen in a Car Crash?
Car accident victims typically suffer tailbone injuries from trauma to the surrounding area. For example, a hard impact or being jostled during a collision can create enough force to break your tailbone.
Even if you wore a seatbelt, the sudden stop on impact will raise you slightly from your seat and slam you back down. This direct impact on your tailbone often causes severe bruising or breaks the tailbone. The velocity of a vehicle accident can create the same force (or more) as a typical slip and fall accident.
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Bruised or Broken Tailbone?
When you have a tailbone injury, it can be bruised or broken. Diagnostic testing and an examination can determine the extent of your injury. However, whether you bruised or broke your tailbone, the symptoms are similar and will create the same limitations to your day-to-day life.
Your examination could include:
- Compiling a medical history, including a discussion of how the injury happened.
- X-rays of the coccyx
- Rectal exam
If initial tests are inconclusive, the doctor may recommend magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies, which can reveal additional information about the muscles, soft tissue, and bones surrounding your coccyx.
Signs of a Broken Tailbone
If you have tenderness around your tailbone or it is painful to sit, you may have a bruised or broken tailbone. Other symptoms include:
- Pain from mild tenderness to severe
- Visible bruising
- Pain when crouching, squatting, or lying down
- Worse pain when sitting
- Painful bowel movements
- Loss of bladder control
- Weakness or numbness in the legs
- Lower back pain
Broken tailbone symptoms can continue for prolonged periods. Therefore, it is essential to have medical personnel check you out after an accident—especially if you have lingering pain.
Chronic Coccydynia Can Affect Your Whole Life
Coccydynia refers to pain in the tailbone (coccyx) region. Doctors call ongoing pain chronic coccydynia, which can debilitate patients. Their pain is generally worse with sitting or activities that create a pressure point at the base of the spine. The coccyx is the meeting point of numerous tendons, muscles, and ligaments that can add to the pain levels experienced with a break.
Chronic injury to the tailbone can cause extreme pain and alter your ability to participate in your regular daily routine. Working at a desk, driving, standing, and other everyday activities become painful and uncomfortable. The pain may expand into the lower back, hips, and area surrounding the coccyx.
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Can You Fix a Broken Coccyx?
Time, rest, and immobility are the only ways to fix a broken coccyx. However, because complete bed rest isn’t always practical, doctors rely on pain amelioration to allow a fractured tailbone to heal while keeping the sufferer as comfortable as possible. Some comfort aids in use include:
- A donut-shaped pillow to make sitting easier
- Alternating hot and cold packs
- Pain medications
- Standing desks
In cases of severe pain, a doctor might suggest a nerve block. Surgery is typically reserved as a last resort. The average period for healing is between 6-12 weeks. In addition, your doctor might prescribe physical therapy to strengthen the surrounding muscles. Finally, self-monitored exercise can also be helpful.
What Compensation Can You Get for a Broken Tailbone?
If you injured your tailbone in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you might qualify to receive compensation. Our car accident lawyers can help you recover economic and noneconomic compensation such as:
- Medical costs
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
You should not bear the burden of medical expenses because of someone else’s actions.
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers for an Assessment
Broken tailbones from car accidents are more common than many realize. If you injured your tailbone in a collision, Laborde Earle Injury Lawyers would fight to get compensation for you. They are familiar with insurance companies and medical assessments concerning tailbone injuries. Schedule your free case evaluation today to discuss your options for compensation for your broken tailbone.