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Coccygectomy is surgery to remove an unstable, dislocated, or broken coccyx after an injury. The coccyx is a small bone shaped like a triangle that forms the bottom of your spine.


The week before your surgery:

  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.
  • Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.
  • Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
  • Your healthcare provider may give you antibiotic medicine to take before surgery. This medicine will help prevent infection.
  • You may need to be on a low-fiber diet to help prevent your wound from getting infected by bowel movements after surgery.
  • You may be given an enema to empty your bowel before surgery. Ask your healthcare provider what to do to prepare your bowel for surgery.
  • You may need to have a CT scan, MRI, and x-ray of your coccyx before surgery. Ask your healthcare provider for information about the tests that you need to have. Write down the date, time, and location of each test.

The night before your surgery:

  • Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.
  • You may be given medicine to help you sleep.

The day of your surgery:

  • Ask your caregiver before you take any medicine on the day of your surgery. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital. Caregivers will check that your medicines will not interact poorly with the medicine you need for surgery.
  • Caregivers 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 caregivers 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 caregivers 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:

You will lie face down with your hips and knees slightly bent. The cheeks of your buttocks will be separated and kept open with surgical tape. An incision will be made on your lower back, a few inches above the opening of your anus. Tissues and muscles will be cut and separated to reach the damaged or broken coccyx. Your healthcare provider will remove all or part of your coccyx. Blood vessels, nerves, and ligaments near the coccyx will be checked and repaired if they are damaged. A drain may be placed to drain fluids from the area. Your wound will be closed with stitches. The bones of your coccyx that have been removed may be sent to a lab for tests.

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.


  • You cannot make it to your surgery.
  • 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.


You could have trouble breathing, bleed more than expected, or get an infection. 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 get a blood clot in your leg or arm. This may become life-threatening.

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 caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. 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 Truven Health Analytics.

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.