What is a coccyx injection?
Individuals with persistent coccydynia (pain of the tail bone) may be considered for local injections. A coccygeal injection involves the administration of a numbing agent (such as lidocaine) and a steroid to decrease inflammation around the coccyx region and the sacrococcygeal junction to provide relief. The local anesthetic is designed to temporarily calm the pain while the steroid serves as an anti-inflammatory medicine.
How is a coccyx injection administered?
The procedure is performed under ultrasound or fluoroscopy (x-ray) guidance. The doctor will begin by numbing the intended region with a local anesthetic and he or she will then insert a thin needle into your coccyx. The injection includes a combination of a local anesthetic – normally lidocaine or bupivacaine – and a corticosteroid. This outpatient procedure can take between 5 to 30 minutes, and you can return home after it is done.
For how long will a coccygeal injection help me?
Any immediate pain relief is likely due to the local anesthetic used during the procedure; however, more longer lasting relief can begin within 2 to 7 days after the injection. The best effects usually occur if stretching exercises are done during the recovery period. Relief may last for a few days, months, or even years; this varies per individual. Depending on the circumstance, physical therapy and/or another round of injections may be recommended during your follow up appointment(s). ** Please note that an individual should not receive more than 3 injections in a year. **
If steroid injections do not provide adequate relief, a sympathetic nerve block or a coccygectomy (surgical removal of the coccyx) may be advised. The latter is only referred for severe cases, when all avenues of conservative pain management fails to control the pain.