Skip to Content

Coccygectomy

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Coccygectomy is surgery to remove an unstable, dislocated, or broken coccyx (tailbone) after an injury.

HOW TO PREPARE:

The week before your surgery:

  • Arrange to have someone drive you home after surgery.
  • Tell your surgeon about all medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine before surgery, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of surgery.
  • Tell your surgeon about all your allergies. Include medicines, antibiotics, and anesthesia.
  • You may need to have a CT scan, MRI, and x-ray of your tailbone before surgery.

The night before your surgery:

You may be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight.

The day of your surgery:

  • Take only the medicines your surgeon told you to take.
  • Healthcare providers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell healthcare providers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.
  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives healthcare providers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN:

What will happen:

You will lie face down with your hips and knees slightly bent. An incision will be made over your tailbone. Your surgeon will remove all or part of your tailbone. Nearby blood vessels, nerves, and ligaments will be checked and repaired if they are damaged. A drain may be placed to remove fluids from the area. The incision will be closed with stitches.

After your surgery:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. You will be monitored closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. You will then be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room. A bandage will cover your stitches. This bandage keeps the area clean and dry to help prevent infection. A healthcare provider may remove the bandage soon after your surgery to check the area.

CONTACT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IF:

  • You have a fever.
  • You get a cold or the flu.
  • You have a skin infection or an infected wound near the area where the surgery will be done.
  • You have questions or concerns about your surgery.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • The pain in your lower back gets worse.
  • You have sudden shortness of breath.
  • You have increased problems having bowel movements.
  • You have pain during sexual intercourse.
  • You have trouble urinating.

Risks

You may need to have surgery done again if you get an infection. Nerves, blood vessels, ligaments, muscles, and bones may be damaged during surgery. After surgery, you may have tingling or numbness in the area where surgery was done. You may still have pain or have trouble going back to your usual activities, including sports. You may develop a life-threatening blood clot.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2021 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.