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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Coccygectomy is surgery to remove an unstable, dislocated, or broken coccyx (tailbone) after an injury.
Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:
- You feel lightheaded, short of breath, and have chest pain.
- You cough up blood.
Call your doctor or surgeon if:
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- Your bandage becomes soaked with blood.
- Your wound is draining blood or pus, or has a bad smell.
- You have a fever, or the wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
- You have nausea or are vomiting.
- Your incision looks like it is coming apart, or the stitches break.
- Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her 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.
- Do not sit on hard 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 6 weeks after your surgery.
- Lie on your side instead of on your back to decrease pressure on the surgery area. Ask your healthcare provider for other ways to prevent pressure on your wound site.
- Ask which activities are best for you to do after surgery. You may need to allow the wound to heal for a time before you go back to your usual activities. Your surgeon will tell you when it is okay to drive again and go back to work.
- Apply ice to the surgery area. Ice helps lower pain and swelling, and prevents tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Wrap a towel around the bag before you apply it to your skin. Apply ice for 20 minutes every hour, or as directed.
- Ask healthcare providers how to clean your wound at home. Ask if is okay if your wound gets wet. If you cannot reach the bandage to change it, ask someone to help you. You may have thin strips of tape on your wound. Keep them clean and dry. As they start to peel off, let them fall off on their own. Do not pull them off.
Follow up with your doctor or surgeon as directed:
You will need to have your wound checked. You may need stitches or drains removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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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.
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