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Surgery for Refractory Coccygodynia: Operative Versus Nonoperative Treatment.

Spine 2017 August 16
STUDY DESIGN: This is a retrospective cohort study.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the long-term outcomes for patients with refractory coccygodynia treated with coccygectomy compared to a nonsurgical regimen of sitting aids, physical therapy, medications, and injections.

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: The surgical treatment of coccygodynia remains controversial. To date, there has only been one small comparative study of surgical versus nonsurgical treatment.

METHODS: From 2004 to 2014, 109 patients presenting with coccygodynia were treated with either total coccygectomy or a nonsurgical course of sitting aids, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and injections. All had at least 2 years of symptoms before surgery. The patient principally made the treatment decision, counseled by the treating physician. Before surgery, all subjects underwent at least 2 years of conservative treatment and three-dimensional imaging (computed tomography and/or magnetic resonance imaging). Subjects completed visual analog pain scales, EuroQol five-dimension, components of the PROMIS measure, and a novel Coccygodynia Disability Index evaluation. Work status, complications, and satisfaction were recorded.

RESULTS: A total of 61 patients received nonsurgical care; eight declined participation and five could not be located. Forty-eight patients underwent total coccygectomy; three declined participation and five could not be located. At an average 4.8 years of follow-up (range: 2-9), the nonsurgical visual analog pain scales was 5 and the surgical 2 (P = 0.001); 79% of surgically treated patients were improved at 2 years versus 43% for the nonsurgical group. EuroQol five-dimension (P = 0.002), Coccygodynia Disability Index (0.01), and PROMIS Pain interference scores (0.02) were also significantly improved in the surgical group. Eleven surgical patients (26%) had complications, all wound related with successful resolution; seven treated with dressing changes and four with surgical debridement.

CONCLUSION: Total coccygectomy is a safe and effective surgical treatment of coccygodynia refractory to nonoperative care. Patient-reported outcome measures were improved after surgery compared with nonsurgical management. Postoperative wound care remains a concern.


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