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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Coccygectomy is surgery to remove an unstable, dislocated, or broken coccyx after an injury. The coccyx is the small, triangular, tail-like bone near your anus, made up of 3 to 5 smaller bones. It has 2 to 3 parts joined together to form the end of your spine. A direct blow to the area near your anus may damage or break the coccyx. This may occur during a physical fight, or in contact sports. A coccyx injury may also happen during accidents, such as in a bad fall or car accident. The coccyx may break as a woman delivers a baby. In some cases, you may have coccyx pain but not know the reason why. Some or all of your coccyx bones may need to be removed. Coccygectomy is usually done to relieve symptoms, such as pain and tenderness, after all other treatments have failed.
Take your medicine as directed.
Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
- Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
- Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
- Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
- Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.
- Stool softeners: This medicine makes it easier for you to have a bowel movement. You may need this medicine to treat or prevent constipation.
Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.
- Ask your caregiver when you should return to have your wound checked, and your stitches or drain removed. You may also need to return to get a laxative or enema 3 or 4 days after your surgery.
Avoid sitting directly on hard and solid surfaces, such as a wooden bench. Sit on a ring or donut-shaped cushion to decrease pressure on the area where the surgery was done. This should be used for six weeks after your surgery. Lie down on one side instead of on your back to decrease pressure on the surgery area. Ask your caregiver for other ways to prevent pressure on your wound site. Ask your caregiver what activities are best for you to do after surgery. You may need to allow the wound to heal for a time before going back to your usual activities.
Wound care and bathing:
- Ask caregivers how you need to clean your wound at home. Ask caregivers if you may bathe or take a shower, and if your wound may get wet, or if it should stay dry. If you cannot reach the bandage to change it, ask someone to help you. You may have steri-strips (thin strips of tape) on your incision. Keep them clean and dry. As they start to peel off, let them fall off by themselves. Do not pull them off.
- You may need to take sitz baths if you have problems with infection or healing. A sitz bath is when you soak your lower body in warm water for a few minutes. Ask your caregiver for more information about taking sitz baths.
Eat healthy foods:
Choose healthy foods from all the food groups every day. Include whole-grain bread, cereal, rice, and pasta. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, including dark green and orange vegetables. Include dairy products such as low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese. Choose protein sources, such as lean beef and chicken, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. Ask how many servings of fats, oils, and sweets you should have each day, and if you need to be on a special diet.
Adults should drink about 9 to 13 cups of liquid each day. One cup is 8 ounces. Good choices of liquids for most people include water, juice, and milk. Coffee, soup, and fruit may be counted in your daily liquid amount. Ask your caregiver how much liquid you should drink each day.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You have a fever.
- You have nausea (upset stomach) or vomiting (throwing up).
- Your incision looks like it is coming apart, or the stitches break.
- Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
- You have chest pain or trouble breathing that is getting worse over time.
- You have questions or concerns about your medicine or care.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- Your bandage becomes soaked with blood.
- You are coughing up blood.
- Your wound is draining blood or pus, or has a bad smell.
- You have sudden trouble breathing or chest pain.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and have trouble breathing.
- You have new and sudden chest pain. You may have more pain when you take deep breaths or cough. You may cough up blood.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.