Removal of the Coccyx in Coccyodynia

Medical Times and Gazette

1861, 1: 317

J. Y. SIMPSON, M.D. F.R.S.E.

Professor of Medicine and Midwifery in the University of Edinburgh

Sir, - In a lecture on Coccyodynia, published in your Journal in July, 1860, I described a case of the disease in which I. cut down upon and removed the coccyx. In the instance in question I had recourse to this measure because the measure which I almost always find successful, viz. isolation of the bone by the tenotomy knife, and all other means, had failed to relieve the patient, and because in consequence of her sufferings from the coccyodynia, she was utterly incapacitated from any longer earning her livelihood by her usual occupation. The operation was followed by her complete and perfect cure. She has been a patient in the Hospital during this winter, but for a disease of the uterus.

When I removed the coccyx in the poor patient to whom I allude, I fancied that it was the first instance in which such an operation had been had recourse to; but by the last American mail I have received a letter from a distinguished American Surgeon, Professor Nott, telling me that many long years before the date of my case, he had performed the same operation for the same disease and published an account of it.

I hasten to send you Dr. Nott's letter for publication in the Medical Times and Gazette, as I would be sorry indeed to have it supposed that I laid claim to a Surgical operation which turns out, as in this instance, to have been previously practised and described by another member of the Profession.

52, Queen-street, Edinburgh, March 19.

J. Y. SIMPSON.

Letter from JC Nott

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