Fell down stairs - worst pain that I have ever felt in my life

Danielle Clark - dclark@bigpond.net.au

My story is I fell down a very steep wooden staircase and my bottom landed on the corner or edge of one of the stairs. It was the worst pain that I have ever felt in my life. I have had in the past a broken nose, dislocated elbow, severely torn ligaments and those injuries did not even come close to pain I felt the day I fell down the stairs.

The doctor examined my coccyx and said that there was no way that I could have broken it and that it was just bruised. The doctor would not provide adequate pain medication and told me to get over the counter pain-killers. The pain had not lessened by the weekend so I went back and was given and x-ray which showed no evidence of a fracture.

Four doctors and six weeks later I was still bed/couch ridden with pain and went and saw another doctor who could feel my coccyx bending a little more than normal and ordered a nuclear bone scan which showed high evidence of fracture at the saccro-coccygeal junction. The radiologist said that the nature of my injury would not have shown up on an x-ray.

I used a keyhole and ring cushion, which were useless and if anything made me more uncomfortable. I believe this was because my injury was on the upper section of the coccyx and lower section of the sacrum and when you sit on one of those cushions that area of your body touches the back of the cushion.

I could feel a clicking sensation when I sat down, especially going around corners in the car.

Getting from a sitting and standing position took courage as I could anticipate the pain that was just about to happen and I would yelp and cry when I did eventually change positions. There was nothing to describe that sort of pain and it is really one of the worst injuries to get.

A night I could sleep only on my stomach and I would wake up so stiff and sore and I could not change positions. I ended up getting physiotherapy on the rest of my back to help ease that pain caused by the odd postures that I had to adopt to compensate for the broken coccyx.

In my experience, people don't take this sort of injury seriously, including some doctors and even find it quite funny and there is not much sympathy out there.

My advice is to demand further tests if your x-ray is negative and you are not getting better.

Thanks for reading, sorry its so long!

Danielle Clark.


Updated 2001-04-04

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