Coccygectomy for coccygodynia: does pathogenesis matter?

J Trauma. 2005 Dec;59(6):1414-9. doi: 10.1097/01.ta.0000195878.50928.3c.


Background: Severity of vertical impact to the coccyx can range from mere contusion to a dislocated fracture of the coccyx. With early conservative management, most patients have a good prognosis and heal within weeks to months after the initial trauma. Occasionally, persisting symptoms make a surgical intervention with coccygectomy necessary.

Methods: We report on the results of patients surgically managed for traumatically induced, persisting coccygodynia and compare these to patients operatively treated for idiopathic coccygodynia. Sixteen patients with an average follow-up of 7.3 years were evaluated. Of these, eight were surgically treated for traumatic and eight for idiopathic coccygodynia. The clinical results were assessed by means of the Hambly Score and the Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability questionnaire. Patient satisfaction with the postoperative result was assessed by a visual analog scale.

Results: Seven of eight (88%) patients treated for traumatically induced coccygodynia had a good or excellent postoperative result, in contrast to only three of eight (38%) patients with idiopathic coccygodynia. The former group had better results in terms of sitting tolerance and general pain intensity as represented by the Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability questionnaire. According to the significantly better clinical results, personal satisfaction was clearly higher in the traumatic group.

Conclusion: These results suggest that, in patients where all conservative treatment methods work to no avail, particularly those with traumatically induced persisting coccygodynia benefit from surgical intervention with coccygectomy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Coccyx / diagnostic imaging
  • Coccyx / injuries*
  • Coccyx / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / diagnostic imaging
  • Low Back Pain / etiology*
  • Low Back Pain / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain, Intractable / diagnostic imaging
  • Pain, Intractable / etiology*
  • Pain, Intractable / surgery*
  • Radiography
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / complications
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / diagnostic imaging