Pain in coccyx following a fall

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On Thursday 17th July (10 days ago), I slipped and fell down a short flight of stairs, landing on my bottom/lower back. It jarred it at the time but seemed ok. Over the next few days, the pain got worse and was sore whenever I stood up/ sat down, and sometimes when sat in certain positions with pressure on my coccyx. There is no visible bruising, as far as I can make out myself, anyhow. It's remained at about the same level of pain (5 out of 10) since then but because I barely notice it when standing, walking and lying down, I have been ignoring it.

I rode my bike today, which was immediately uncomfortable, but as I had things to do and no alternative form of transport, ignored it as it was still far from incapaciating. Then I had to emergency brake when a car pulled out without indicating... It now hurts quite a bit more, even when just sitting down, but it's a constant ache rather than a sharp pain.

Should I go to the doctor about it? Would this be considered urgent? Having read up about it, it seems all will be suggested is I take painkillers.

Many thanks.

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  • Posted

    I don't know how old you are so this may not apply to you, I'll give you some background.  About three years ago like you I slipped down a few stairs, wooden ones actually, in an upright position and had a really bad pain in my  bottom and spine.  I managed to struggle up and it took a while to get moving and I had pain for several weeks until it eventually died down and went.   Come forward to November last year and I had a CT scan which found nothing for what they were looking for but they did find that at some time I had sustained a compressed fracture of the L4 vertebrae in my spine, which is just a few up from the coccyx.  I can't say that it was the fall on the stairs that did it but it's a bit coincidental.   I fractured my femur three months ago and had a bone scan done recently and have been told that I have osteoporosis in my spine and they also mentioned the L4 fracture so that obviously explains why I broke my femur so easily as my bones are obviously weaker than they should be.

    If you are "too young" to have osteoporosis you could still have fractured one of your vertebrae so I should definitely go to the doctor who should refer you for an x-ray.  I remember cracking a rib just by leaning over the safety bars on the top of a bunk bed.  I stuck the pain for a couple of weeks and then got to see a hospital doctor and he asked me why I had waited so long but I felt that with all the mishaps I've had where I've bruised myself etc. I didn't want to go to the hospital every time otherwise I'd always be there!  My advice, go to the doctor to get it checked out because I have proved that you can walk about with a fractured spine.

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    • Posted

      Hi Spindles, thanks for your reply. I hope your femur is healing OK.

      I'm 22 and female. Having looked through risk factors for osteoporosis, nothing seems to apply to me currently, though I am aware of a slight history of it in older age in my family members. It may also be possible that hormonal contraception has resulted in a reduced estrogen levels? I fell on to a high heeled shoe, meeting it at around the same point, from what I remember, at the bottom of my spine when I was 15, it is possible that has weakened it.

      I will visit the doctor and request a scan. I'm quite despondent about anything being done though, given that earlier this year I fell from a galloping horse on to a tarmac road and hit my head. I had mild concussion, a bad migraine and neck jarring, and was visibly in a lot of shock, but was just sent home without a scan.

      Thank you again :-)

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  • Posted

    Ah, I used to do that sort of thing (falling off horses)  They might not necessarily do a scan, might do an x-ray but knowing the doctor you'll probably be told to take some pain killers for a couple of weeks to see if it gets better as it does take quite a while for bruising and damage to get better.  I'm afraid that TV programmes show people having all sorts of tests and treatment but I wonder if they would have got the same if they hadn't been on TV!
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