Coccyx facts for kids
|Coccyx - posterior view|
|Gray's||subject #24 106|
The coccyx (// KOK-siks; plural: coccyges or coccyxes), commonly referred to as the tailbone, is the final segment of the vertebral column in humans and apes, and certain other mammals such as horses.
Most anatomy books incorrectly state that the coccyx is normally fused in adults. In fact it has been shown that the coccyx may consist of up to five separate bony segments, the most common configuration being two or three segments.
In humans and other tail-less primates, the coccyx is the remnant of a vestigial tail, but still not entirely useless; it is an important attachment for various muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Additionally, it is also a part of the weight-bearing tripod structure which acts as a support for a sitting person. When a person sits leaning forward, the ischial tuberosities and inferior rami of the ischium take most of the weight, but as the sitting person leans backward, more weight is transferred to the coccyx.
Injuring the coccyx can give rise to a painful condition called coccydynia and one or more of the bones or the connections thereof may be broken, fractured tailbone.
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Coccyx Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.