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I Think My Butt (Tailbone) is Broken

Updated on September 18, 2015

Whichever way it happened, it HURTS

I haven't cried in pain in a long time. Last summer, I cried. I was heading out to the garage to set out some recycling, just minding my own business and being a responsible citizen. The rug on the garage step had other plans in mind. No sooner had I put my foot on it then the darn thing decided to slip out from under me (it's the slippery step's fault, not my fault). In the interest of full disclosure, I do tend to have the misfortune of falling down a lot, and normally only my pride is hurt. But this particular instance resulted in a bruised tailbone. Ouch.

The Phrase, "Writhing In Pain" Comes to Mind

Few things in life are as painful as giving birth--breaking your tailbone might just be one of them. Yes, I have given birth twice. I've only broken my tailbone once, but as I writhed in pain on the cold garage floor, I wondered if that could possibly hurt more (in all honesty though, I did have an epidural help me through both births, especially since my second son was such a porker). As I crouched there on all fours, crying like a baby, it occurred to me that I might not be able get up. Luckily, my three year old came to the rescue. He promptly handed me the phone after inquisitively asking if I had ouchies. Trying to laugh through the tears, I called the hubby to tell my "tale" of how I'd broken my butt. He, being the compassinate soul that he is, only laughed a little. I spent the rest of the day--and week--laying with a frozen bag of mini tater tots pressed against my ouchy. I'd post a picture of the tots, but we've since eaten them. They were as delicious as they were helpful in a crisis. Thank goodness the nickname "Tater-butt" didn't stick.

My Google Diagnosis: Yup, It's Broken...or Bruised

Whatever the diagnosis, it sure hurts to fall flat on your backside. There are interesting stories out there when you google, "Is my tailbone broken?" Cheerleaders falling on their butts, folks falling off horses, people slipping on ice, it's all happened. I think I was the first to have a rug on a step slip out from under me and send recycling products flying through the garage. The most interesting thing I found: If you have to ask if it's broken, it's probably "broken" (though most seem to agree that a true, actual broken tailbone is very rare, and it's likely just a bruised tailbone that's bringing tears to your eyes. Unfortunately, there is not necessarily much you can do about it either!

Sounds like all a doctor could do is take an x-ray and confirm that, yes indeed, you broke your butt. It appears that the only real treatment is to minimize discomfort, aka "don't sit on it." Keep it iced--or hot--whichever feels better. And most importantly, become a legend among friends as you share your resounding tale about how you've lived through one of the most physically painful things that could happen to man, and you didn't even cry about it (feel free to stretch the truth).

Remember, I am only sharing my experience. I am most certainly not a doctor, in case you couldn't tell. If you are in pain, see your doctor.

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    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      I had a friend many years ago that broke his tailbone; it was just floating free after the fall as he broke it clear off the rest of the spine. Bearing in mind that this was 30 years ago, he explained that his doctor told him that for men they would do nothing. For women of child bearing age it could (and would) be repaired via surgery, that it was necessary during birth to guide the baby down the birth canal.

      An interesting "tale" from that poor man - he flew across country once and was in such pain during the flight that the plane had to make an unscheduled landing - that broken piece of bone flipped over during the flight, years after the accident. The doctors sent him back up to continue his journey and the bone once more flipped over, back to where it should be. Babies can sometimes be flipped the same way if there are going to be breach - take an airplane flight and they will sometimes flip over to the proper orientation.

      In any case, if you ever want another child, you might keep this in mind, that an intact tailbone used to be (and maybe still is) considered necessary for childbirth.

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 3 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      I never knew that (about childbirth)! I broke mine during a volleyball game. It took 6 weeks before I was pain-free and I had to lug that donut pillow back and forth from the car to work and back again. Terrible pain!

    • profile image

      rdire@cox.net 3 years ago

      The hubs fell, hurt tailbone, can't take the pain anymore !

    • profile image

      m b 3 years ago

      I got bit by a dog in my butt and leg I then fell straight on my butt that was a year ago and my tailbone still hurts I don't know what else to do!! Any ideas???

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