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J Emerg Med. 2018 Aug;55(2):e33-e35. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2018.04.033. Epub 2018 May 18.

Tailbone Pain from Coccyx Injuries on Water Slides: A Case Series.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Newark, New Jersey; Coccyx Pain Center, Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey.
Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York.
The Spine Institute, Santa Monica, California.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Newark, New Jersey.



Water slides and rides are increasingly popular attractions at amusement parks. There has been some documentation of various patterns of injury associated with these rides, most notably vaginal injuries caused by water jets. But we find no previous medical publications reporting the association between water slides/rides with coccydynia (coccyx pain) and tailbone injuries.


Our purpose in this case report was to assess for an association between water slides/rides with injuries to the coccyx causing coccyx pain. We conducted a retrospective chart review in a coccyx pain clinic on a medical school campus at a level I trauma center. The retrospective chart review took place over a 2-year period and encompassed 217 new patients. Four patients presenting to our coccyx pain clinic had either onset or exacerbation of symptoms with temporal relationship to water slide or ride activities. Three of 4 patients had abnormal dynamic instability on radiologic dynamic imaging, including standing versus seated radiographs and magnetic resonance imaging. WHY SHOULD AN EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN BE AWARE OF THIS?: Recreational water slides/rides are a newly reported cause of coccygeal dynamic instability with resultant tailbone pain. Dynamic imaging studies (sitting vs. standing) of the coccyx should be considered in patients with coccyx pain after injuries on a water slide or ride. Many of these patients may initially seek care from emergency physicians.


coccydynia; coccyx; coccyx pain; water park; water slide

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