Two years ago, I slipped on a patch of ice and landed right on my tailbone. Ever since, I’ve had pain so severe, I can hardly sit down for more than 10 minutes. I’ve tried everything from drugs to heat to injections. I even had the chiropractor manipulate the area. Could I have the tailbone removed?
Yes, a coccygectomy (removal of the tailbone or coccyx) is a known treatment for this condition. In fact, a recent study reports that about 20 percent of the patients with coccygodynia (painful tailbone) don’t get relief from non-operative treatment. In many of these cases, removing the tailbone brings long-term relief of painful symptoms and increases sitting time. There is one test that must be done before the operation. The doctor injects a local numbing agent into the area. This is done while using a special X-ray imaging called fluoroscopy. Fluoroscopy helps guide the injection to make sure it gets to the right place. If the patient gets more than 75 percent relief of symptoms, then surgery to remove the coccyx is done. There’s a chance that you won’t get better. You may even get worse, but most patients report good results from this operation.