Coccygectomy (Tailbone Removal Surgery) in Princeton & Staten Island

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What causes tailbone pain?

The coccyx, commonly referred to as the tailbone, is the triangle-shaped bone at the base of the spine. There is a wide range of possible causes of tailbone pain, which include:

  • Trauma to the tailbone (e.g. falls, accidents)
  • Childbirth
  • Infection
  • Tumor

Pain in the tailbone, also known as coccydynia, is usually a short term problem that goes away within a few weeks. However, in some cases, the bone may fail to repair fully following a tailbone injury, which can lead to long-lasting tailbone pain. If conservative treatments are unable to treat the injury, our expert spine surgeons can perform a coccygectomy (tailbone surgery) to remove the coccyx and relieve your pain. If you’re suffering from chronic tailbone pain, contact our spine specialists at New Jersey Spine Surgeons for effective relief. We have convenient office locations in Princeton, NJ and Staten Island, NY.

How is tailbone pain (coccydynia) treated?

Often times, our spine doctors at New Jersey Spine Surgeons will advise conservative treatment methods for coccydynia before considering coccygectomy, because in many cases, conservative treatment may prove effective at improving tailbone pain. Treatment options depend on each patient’s needs and symptoms, and may involve:

  • Taking pain medications, either over-the-counter or prescription medications depending on the level of pain
  • Applying gentle ice to the tailbone
  • Applying gentle heat to the tailbone
  • Avoiding sitting for prolonged periods
  • Using a special pillow or cushion to keep pressure off the coccyx when sitting
  • Getting a cortisone injection

When is coccygectomy (coccyx surgery) performed?

If symptoms are severe, worsen over time, or don’t respond well to conservative therapies, a surgery called coccygectomy (tailbone surgery or coccyx removal) may be recommended. Coccygectomy involves permanently removing the coccyx. This is typically only necessary in cases where a patient has suffered a tailbone fracture that has failed to heal properly and is causing chronic pain.

What does coccygectomy surgery involve?

Coccyx surgery may require removing the entire tailbone or only a portion, depending on your doctor’s recommendation. Generally, the coccygectomy procedure involves a small incision being made on top of the tailbone, followed by separating the coccyx from the material that covers the bone (called the periosteum) and then separating the bone from the sacrum, after which it is removed. The surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis.

If you are interested in learning more about coccyx removal surgery or other treatments for tailbone pain, the first step is scheduling an evaluation with an experienced spine specialist. At New Jersey Spine Surgeons, we are dedicated to the preservation of motion and function through the latest minimally invasive spine procedures and treatments. Call (844)-7-NJSPINE today or fill out the form on this page to request a consultation at our Princeton and Staten Island offices.

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