What is the treatment for coccygodynia?
Q: I was involved in an accident where I was thrown from a truck. I landed on my tailbone and have got MRI and x-rays done. I still have severe pain in my tailbone. The report says that there isn't any damage and my doctor told me that my tailbone is bent. So he is sending me to a specialist to talk about it being removed. What is going on and how long will the surgery take? For how long will I not be able to look after my kids? I don't want to undergo surgery, but the pain is really bad. Lying down is not comfortable either. How can a bone bend?
A:Pain in the coccygeal region (coccyx) is a common symptom. Several factors are attributed to it but fall on your bottom is a common presentation. However, some patients develop this pain after confinement, some develop it after some infections, while a number of them get it without any anticedent problem. X-rays and MRIs are often normal. It is a rare patient that presents with a specific infection or a tumour in the coccyx. If MRI is normal this can be safely ruled out. A bent coccyx may be quite normal in some people and it does not need any surgical intervention. Treatment for coccygodynia is essentially simple non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and avoidance of body weight coming on your coccyx. This is difficult to practice. A smart way of doing this is to sit on one buttock so that coccyx does not touch the cushion. If you have a sitting job you could sit between two cushions so that your coccyx comes between the gap of two cushions. The catch is this needs to be continued for two, three months before you feel any change. Some doctors inject local anaesthetics and steroids into the coccyx. It does give you relief. However, one has to be cautious as this can lead to local infection because the steroid reduces the local immunity. Surgery is rarely required and is recommended in cases that have proven infection or tumours. Occasionally may be done in some cases of intractable pain. You can consult your specialist and ask him more questions. Coccygodynia without any other associated problems does not lead to any complications or problems. So you need not spend sleepless nights on it.