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What do my X-ray test results indicate?

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Posted on Fri, 6 May 2016
Question: I am a diabetic for 50 years. I recently fell and the emergency dr. took X-ray of my lower back which showed a CONTUSION ; COCCYX or SACRUM. Explain please.
Thank you,
XXXX XXXXXXX
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (36 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Contusion of coccyx/sacrum

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

I am sorry you had this injury.

A contusion is another name for a bruise. This means that the emergency doctor did not see a fracture on the xray.

With a contusion, there can be swelling and bleeding under the skin. It usually takes several weeks to heal. Since you have diabetes, check your sugars to make sure the stress of the injury and pain are not raising your sugar levels. You also want to make sure your sugar levels are in good control so that you do not have delayed healing.

The sacrum and coccyx are the last part of the vertebral column (back bone). The coccyx is your tail bone or "sit-bone" so it probably is uncomfortable to sit right now. It will get better.

Because sitting can be uncomfortable, some people find a foam donut shaped pillow to help. (I had a fracture of the tail bone and did not like the donut pillow but some do.) Some pharmacies have these. Also orthopedic supply stores.

When lying down, you may find that lying on your side with a pillow between your knees is more comfortable.

You can ice the injured area to help reduce pain and swelling. Wrap a cold source (ice pack or ice cubes in a plastic bag) in a thin towel. Apply to the bruised area for 20 minutes every 1 to 2 hours the first day. Continue this 3 to 4 times a day for the 2nd and 3 rd day. If you find the cold application uncomfortable, just skip this.

You should follow up with your doctor if you are not feeling like there is any improvement in 2 weeks.

You should follow up or go to the ER immediately if you have loss of bowel or bladder control, pain or numbness that spreads to the legs, weakness in a leg or numbness in the groin.

I hope you are feeling better soon! Please let me know if I can provide further information or clarification.

In the future, if you want me specifically to answer your question, you can write my name at the beginning of your question and it will be routed to me (Dr. Bonnie).
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3134 Questions

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What do my X-ray test results indicate?

Brief Answer: Contusion of coccyx/sacrum Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome, I am sorry you had this injury. A contusion is another name for a bruise. This means that the emergency doctor did not see a fracture on the xray. With a contusion, there can be swelling and bleeding under the skin. It usually takes several weeks to heal. Since you have diabetes, check your sugars to make sure the stress of the injury and pain are not raising your sugar levels. You also want to make sure your sugar levels are in good control so that you do not have delayed healing. The sacrum and coccyx are the last part of the vertebral column (back bone). The coccyx is your tail bone or "sit-bone" so it probably is uncomfortable to sit right now. It will get better. Because sitting can be uncomfortable, some people find a foam donut shaped pillow to help. (I had a fracture of the tail bone and did not like the donut pillow but some do.) Some pharmacies have these. Also orthopedic supply stores. When lying down, you may find that lying on your side with a pillow between your knees is more comfortable. You can ice the injured area to help reduce pain and swelling. Wrap a cold source (ice pack or ice cubes in a plastic bag) in a thin towel. Apply to the bruised area for 20 minutes every 1 to 2 hours the first day. Continue this 3 to 4 times a day for the 2nd and 3 rd day. If you find the cold application uncomfortable, just skip this. You should follow up with your doctor if you are not feeling like there is any improvement in 2 weeks. You should follow up or go to the ER immediately if you have loss of bowel or bladder control, pain or numbness that spreads to the legs, weakness in a leg or numbness in the groin. I hope you are feeling better soon! Please let me know if I can provide further information or clarification. In the future, if you want me specifically to answer your question, you can write my name at the beginning of your question and it will be routed to me (Dr. Bonnie).