Coccygectomy has a favorable effect on the intensity, manifestation, and characteristics of pain caused by coccygodynia: a retrospective evaluation of 34 patients followed for 3–18 years

European Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatology

August 2009, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 403-407

Levente Gáspár (1) Zoltán Jónás (1) László Kiss (1) György Vereb (2) Zoltán Csernátony (1)

1. Department of Orthopedics, University of Debrecen Medical Health and Science Center, Nagyerdei krt. 98, 4012, Debrecen, Hungary. 2. Department of Biophysics and Cell Biology, University of Debrecen Medical Health and Science Center, Nagyerdei krt. 98, 4012, Debrecen, Hungary

Abstract

Background

Coccygodynia can cause severe pain and disability in patients. There are contradictions in the literature regarding the final results of coccygectomy for coccygodynia. We evaluated the long-term effects of coccygectomy on the intensity, characteristics, and manifestation of pain caused by coccygodynia to determine the adequacy of operation among treatment modalities.

Materials and methods

Thirty-four patients with coccygodynia were treated by coccygectomy. In 22 cases, trauma, and in one case childbirth was the cause. 11 cases were regarded as idiopathic. The intensity, characteristics of pain, and the most painful activities were evaluated at an average of 7.6 (3–18) years of follow-up time.

Results

Before the operation, all 34 patients had pain while sitting, moreover, 26 of them had pain during standing, walking, at night or a combination of these. 21 patients had intolerable or very intensive, mainly acute, sharp or burning pain. 11 patients had dyschesia, 2 had dysuria and 6 had dyspareunia. At follow-up, 7 patients were completely free of pain, 15 others had moderate, 11 medium, and only one patient had severe, but none had intolerable pain. Only seven patients had acute, sharp or burning pain postoperatively. The decrease of average pain score from 8.0 to 3.2 was significant (P < 10-12). The number of the patients with dyschesia and dyspareunia decreased from 11 to 7 and from 6 to 3, respectively. Two patients had dysuria, but their complaints did not change after the operation. One of the two patients who needed reoperation had an excellent final result, while the other remained unchanged. 12 and 16 patients (together 82%) regarded the final result of the operation excellent and good, respectively. The condition of five others did not change, while one became worse. The patients with younger age, smaller body mass index, and less co-morbidities had better final result. There were no serious complications.

Conclusion

Coccygectomy for coccygodynia is a safe method to decrease the intensity of pain and other complaints of the patients. The operation can be the choice of treatment if conservative measures fail.

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