Coccyx fracture and sciatica

by Mialon
( West Indies)

Coccyx fracture and sciatica

The cleaner at my work place moved the chair when i was attempting to sit. I sustained a fracture to the coccyx,that has caused difficulty going to the toilet, terrible stomach pain when standing or sitting for lenghty periods and recently i have been getting terrible pain from my lower back straight down the back of my right leg to the ankles. My legs get heavy as a result.

The pain comes and goes but when it comes it is so painful that i take painkillers that makes me sleep so to not feel the discomfort. I even started seeing varicose veins popping up on that leg.

Since i obtained that injury my attempts to walk as quickly as before has been difficult and painful and my walking is slowed. My Specialiist.MD gave me a healing window of 6 mths as the pains was so terrible. What made it worse is that the initial MD i saw said that she was not seeing anything on my XRay so i went on for 13 day thinking i has soft tissue injury as she indicated. It was after the pain persisted i went to a specialist MD did he see the fracture.

I am concerned about child rearing due to this injury. I am in my early thirtys.

Hello Mialon,
Nasty injury. It happens.

There are two reasons the initial fracture was missed. Firstly, it's common knowledge that a fracture without separation is often not picked up for a few days - until it starts to swell making the fracture line visible. Secondly, there is so much bowel matter there, it's a very difficult fracture to spot. Did a specialist radiologist not read the X-ray?

It's unlikely that there was anything lost by your MD missing the fracture. There's no treatment anyway.

The pain down your leg is almost certainly a separate injury, either a fractured sacrum (unlikely) but more likely an injury to the intervertebral disk. When you bend forwards is your right leg much tighter than the left?

Go to C-H and type "Slump test" into the Search this site function. Do it and let me know the result. If it's strongly positive follow these rules:

Buy or make a ring cushion to take the weight off the coccyx. It may take a few months for the pain to go away. If in six weeks you still have very specific coccyx pain then it should be gently mobilised, initially externally and if that doesn't help, via the anus.

Not sure if there are chiropractors in the WI, but that's where I'd go.

Good luck, I hope this contributes.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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May 02, 2018
Wrong about tailbone fracture
by: Anonymous

I could scream with frustration over chiropractic care that I received for six years now for what was originally a fall incident. I went to the chiropractor to be treated for a fall on my tailbone which was fractured and he ignored it like there was nothing they could do anyway, like the treatment type mentioned here. Wrong wrong wrong.

Not only is the fracture itself very painful but if the tailbone is in a weird position it then it tugs and pulls on ligaments which creates symptoms.

I found a a pelvic floor physical therapist through my medical doctor. I was violated by chiropractic care for this type of injury. The extent of which is still unknown as I continue to undergo further diagnostics to consider what my options are now years later, and a much lighter wallet.

It's hard for me to comment as the details are scarce. But whether the treatment was appropriate or not, I find it odd that you continued with it for six years, presumably with no improvement since you are screaming with frustration.

Not all chiropractors will use the internal coccygeal treatment, in fact they are probably in the minority, which I expect he would have told you but you won't remember it seeing that it was so longer ago.

When you have a fall on the coccyx, the sacrum is often affected and joints in the lumbar spine as well, so it's not inappropriate that he would have been treating you for those other conditions.

But you have a point; I too feel a frustration that more chiropractors won't treat the coccyx boldly, just like any other joint. Some are prevented from doing internal examination or treatment by state regulations.

Any way, I hope you get more satisfactory treatment from the physical therapist. Let me know how you progress in a month or so.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I have left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he is happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti-inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He is doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost pain-free. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he is well pleased; sixty-five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he has taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily stroll has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift; he has a short leg.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. X-rays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65-year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88-year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done. 

10. Mr X is a 71-year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a few months ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It is a non-complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she is doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38-year old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he could not sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71-year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors should not be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that is so much bunkum.

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