Question: Is it possible for the tail bone (coccyx) to obstruct the colon?
Answer: Obstruction of colon or large bowel often lands up a patient in an emergency room. Blockage prevents easy bowel movement, bloating of abdomen, constipation, vomiting and spasmodic abdominal pain. There are many reasons for obstruction of colon.
Obstruction can result from inside the colon or the causative reason may be from adjacent area which may compress the colon and cause mechanical obstruction. Neoplasm of colon, fecal impaction, abnormal rotation of colon, and inflammatory changes such as diverticulitis are common causes of colon obstruction.
Can Tail Bone Cause Colon Obstruction?
How does tail bone cause colon obstruction?
Tail bone or coccyx is the last portion of spine. It is made up of three bones which are fused together. It plays a supporting role for the body while standing or sitting.
The coccyx or the tail bone may be fractured as a result of kicks and falls. Pain, which is often severe, occurs on walking, sitting or passing stools or with actions which involve levator ani muscles.
Colonic obstruction is mechanical or functional in nature. Obstruction prevents normal function of colon; that is transition of the products of digestion.
In coccydynia or fracture of tail bone, patient may experience pain while passing stools; as a result he avoids defecation. Prolonged avoidance of defecation results in constipation. There is more absorption of water from the food due to slow passage of food from the large intestine or the colon, this result in dry and hard feces. Due to the dryness and slow movement the feces get impacted in the colon leading to colonic obstruction.
So in cases of fracture of the tail bone or its inflammation patient should eat more of green vegetables and fiber products so that there is less chances of passage of hard stools and reversely prevent colonic obstruction.
How To Treat Tailbone Fracture?
How to deal with tailbone fracture and prevent colonic obstruction?
It takes weeks and months for fracture of tailbone to heal. Usually, there is no specific treatment for tailbone fracture and the damaged bone gets repaired after a period of time. However, during this period the main focus of treatment is to alleviate pain as it is one of the most distressing symptoms which make the patient’s life miserable. He is unable to sit for long time due to pain.
The conventional treatment consists of anti inflammatory medicines and pain killers. Use of soft cushion while sitting provides immense relief from pain. Patient should sit in a doughnut shaped pillow which takes away pressure from tailbone while sitting.
A growth from sacrum and coccyx region, mostly a cancerous growth can enlarge in size and compress the colon and rectum in its front. This can give rise to obstruction of colon. It may be a partial obstruction or complete depending on the size of growth and the resultant obstruction. In such cases patient may complain of pain in coccyx. There are other symptoms such as loss of weight, mild fever for prolonged period aside from symptoms of colon obstruction if present.