Symptoms of a Broken Tailbone

A broken tailbone is a much more common injury than you might imagine. This injury commonly results from a slip and fall accident, a car accident, or a workplace accident. In a worst-case scenario, a broken tailbone can cause agonizing pain.

Where Is Your Tailbone?

Your tailbone, or “coccyx,” is located at the bottom of your spine. It is where numerous tendons, muscles, and ligaments meet.

How Do Broken Tailbones Typically Happen?

You can break your tailbone any time something slams you down on your tail. A broken tailbone is particularly likely to happen if you fall down hard into a sitting position or if a car accident lifts you up and then slams you back down on your tail. You might also injure your tailbone if someone deliberately kicks you there.

Bruised Tailbone vs. Broken Tailbone

Obviously, a broken tailbone is more serious than a bruised tailbone. Sometimes, a bruised tailbone can result from repetitive stress. Either way, however, you are likely to suffer the same limitations in your day-to-day life. 


Following is a list of typical symptoms of a broken or bruised tailbone:

  • Pain in your tailbone and lower back. This pain could range from mild to severe, and it might vary in intensity during the day. 
  • The intensity of your pain will probably be at its greatest whenever you are sitting, crouching, or lying on your back.
  • Your pain might also intensify momentarily whenever you stand up. 
  • Your bowel movements might be particularly painful.
  • Pain during sex;
  • Sciatica (nerve pain in your legs and lower back);
  • Bruising, whether your tailbone is broken or merely bruised;
  • Swelling;
  • Loss of bladder control (spontaneous urination);
  • Insomnia;
  • Depression;
  • Anxiety; and
  • Weakness and numbness of your legs.

Speak with your doctor, as any of these symptoms might indicate another condition, not necessarily a broken tailbone. 


The steps in diagnosing a broken tailbone might include:

  • Taking your medical history;
  • Taking an X-ray and
  • Performing a rectal exam.

In some cases, the doctor might perform an MRI on your tailbone area.

Recovery Time

You might need up to a month to recover from a bruised tailbone. You might need up to three months, however, to recover from a broken tailbone. Recovery times vary according to the seriousness of the injury and individual recuperative abilities.

Monetary Compensation for a Personal Injury Claim

You can claim the following types of compensation for a broken tailbone:

Medical Expenses

You can claim all reasonable and necessary medical expenses that arose directly out of your injury. If you file your claim before reaching a full recovery, you can also claim estimated future medical expenses.

Lost Earnings

If you work in an office job where you sit at a desk all day, imagine how much lost earnings you might suffer due to a broken tailbone. You deserve compensation for every dime you didn’t earn because of your injury. This amount even includes full pay for any sick leave or vacation time resources you had to use up.

Pain and Suffering

At its worst, a broken tailbone can cause chronic, excruciating pain for months on end. You deserve compensation for this. In fact, pain and suffering compensation might be worth far more than your medical expenses.

Humiliation and Emotional Distress

One of the symptoms of a severe broken tailbone is loss of bladder control. Imagine how humiliating this would be, and imagine how it might limit your activities.

Other Forms of Compensation

A broken tailbone might qualify you for other forms of compensation as well, such as:

  • In the unlikely event that a broken tailbone causes you long-term (greater than three months) chronic pain, for example, you might seek reimbursement for diminished earning capacity. 
  • You might also seek reimbursement for lost quality of life and other intangible losses. 
  • If your sex life has been affected, your spouse might even file a claim for loss of consortium.

Your lawyer might be able to think of other items of compensation you should claim.

Talk to a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer

Although the odds are you will settle your claim out of court, it’s possible that you might end up at trial. Either way, you probably need a lawyer if your claim is sizable, and a broken tailbone claim probably will be.

Contact Our Chicago Personal Injury Law Firm For Help Today

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Chicago, Illinois, and need legal help, contact our experienced personal injury lawyers at Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.

We proudly serve Cook County and its surrounding areas:

Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers
134 N La Salle St #2160
Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: (312) 929-2884

To learn more about Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers, click here.