Are you investigating having coccyx surgery and concerned about potential coccygectomy complications? As with any surgery, there are potential risks that need to be carefully weighed before having a coccygectomy. There is always the chance that the coccyx surgery will be unsuccessful, but if one investigates all other avenues of relief from coccyx pain, the small risks will far overshadow the benefits of having a coccygectomy.
One coccyx surgery complication could be the adverse reaction of the individual to the general anesthesia. As those who’ve been through major surgery before and have had to be put under, the reaction of ones body to the anesthesia is always in back of ones mind.
One of the unique coccygectomy complications could be potential infection to the operated area. In the case of a coccygectomy, this risk is slightly higher than with other surgeries simply because of the location of the incision. Post-operation infections are fairly common with this type of surgery because the site is so close to the anus and colon, which contain a greater variety of bacterias that can lead to contamination and infections if one isn’t diligent in cleansing themselves carefully. As a result, there is also the possibility of wound healing problems due to infection.
Another of the coccygectomy complications could be prolonged pain or the plain and simple failure of the surgery to the relive you from the coccyx pain you had in the first place. I know from personal experience that the fear of the surgery not working and having to live with the pain for the rest of ones life was very real. Even directly after the coccyx removal surgery and during coccyx surgery recovery, there was always an underlying and nagging ‘what if it doesn’t work?’
In the past, most surgeons were dead set against performing a coccygectomy simply because they claimed the results were too poor. However, based on current clinical studies, the operation has had a success rate of 50-90%. This rate raises significantly up to 80-90% if the potential coccyx surgery candidate was considered a good candidate and if the operating surgeon was experienced enough with this very delicate type of surgery.
Coccygectomy complications can vary from very minor to complete failure of the surgery to relieve the pain. It should be noted, however, that post-operation pain usually makes things like sitting very painful for at least a month or more. During the initial recovery period, you will be given strong pain medication. It typically takes from about 3 months to a full year after having the coccygectomy for the majority of patients to start seeing relief from the painful coccyx injury symptoms.
I had coccygectomy in December 2011. I am 6months post-op and still have severe pain when sitting. I have every coccyx cushion available and still can not sit. I am taking 6-8mg of Suboxone for pain. I have spent most of the past 6 months laying on my side with a heating pad or ice. Is there any hope out there?
I’m very sorry to hear of the pain you’re in. In our experience, the recovery did take a while. In essence, you did have an amputation with a bone actually being removed, so your body is going to take a while to recover. In our case it took at least six months for the pain to subside with continued ‘phantom pain’ that continued for a few years. The first year overall was fairly painful still, but it did get better. Take heart and be strong. I can appreciate the pain you are feeling, but it will get better – I’m sure not nearly as quickly as you’d like. Keep in mind that every person recovers and reacts differently to surgery as well.
Jim from Coccygectomy.org
Jim, thank you for the encouragement. I might add, the surgeon shaved off an abnormal distal boney sacral prominence which he thought was contributing to my pain.
I had a coccygectomy in March of 2015. It was a 90 to 80 percent success rate but it failed. I’ve been in pain for 5 years now. I’m really tired of the pain so much to the extent that sometimes I’m suicidal. The surgeon who did my surgery doesnt want to go back in there to remove the rest of the tailbone (like he did for another patient when the first surgery failed like mine. The second surery for the other woman was a success) because he says alot of tailbone surgeries dont take. I was furious because when I first saw him he said it was a 90 to 80 percent success rate. I want to get a second opinion but dont know if I should use a orthapedics doctor or neurosurgeon. I have tried everything under the sun to get relief from this pain and nothing has worked including cushions. I cant live the rest of my life like this becasue its affecting my lower back now and my feet are becoming numb from my diabetes. I need to be able to stand for periods of time and I need to be able to just exercise and move around. Thanks