Surgical treatment of coccygodynia: an analytic review of the literature

Eur Spine J. 2011 May;20(5):698-705. doi: 10.1007/s00586-010-1617-1. Epub 2010 Nov 3.


Coccygodynia is a pathological condition associated with pain-discomfort all around the bottom end of the spine. The aetiology and the intensity of the symptoms may defer significantly. The effectiveness of the surgical treatment remains obscure. Our purpose, through this systematic review is to evaluate the results of surgical treatment of coccygectomy. Literature retrieval was performed by the use of the PubMed searching engine utilising the terms 'coccygodynia-coccygectomy' in the English language from January 1980 to January 2010. Case reports and tumour related case series were excluded as well as articles published in other languages. In total 24 manuscripts were analyzed. Only 2 of them were prospective studies whereas 22 were retrospective case series; five were classified as Level III studies and the remaining as Level IV studies. In total, 671 patients with coccygodynia underwent coccygectomy following failed conservative management. The sex ratio, male/female was 1:4.4. The most popular aetiology for coccygodynia was direct trauma in 270 patients. 504 of the patients reported an excellent/good outcome following the procedure. There were 9 deep and 47 superficial infections. Other complications included two haematomas, six delayed wound healings and nine wound dehiscence. The overall complication rate was 11%. Patients with history of spinal or rectal disorders, as well as idiopathic or with compensation issues, had less predictable outcome than those with history of trauma or childbirth. Coccygectomy can provide pain relief to as high as 85% of the cases. The most common reported complication was wound infection.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Coccyx / injuries
  • Coccyx / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / epidemiology
  • Low Back Pain / surgery*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pelvic Pain / epidemiology
  • Pelvic Pain / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sacrococcygeal Region / injuries
  • Sacrococcygeal Region / surgery*