The operation of extirpation of the coccyx

The Lancet

May 14, 1870, Vol. 95 No. 2437 p 714

Lawson Tait

Sir,- In the American Journal of Obstetrics and Diseases of Women and Children, Dr. Nott claims to have been the first to extirpate the bones of the coccyx for the cure of coccydynia. The statement has been largely copied in this country and on the Continent. I take the liberty of correcting the misstatement in your widely circulated columns.

It is more than eight years since I assisted Sir James Simpson to extirpate the bones of the coccyx in a case of inveterate coccydynia, for which repeated subcutaneous incisions had been made. It was followed by complete relief, and I had the opportunity, four years after the operation, of examining the parts after the death of the patient. I have since performed the operation myself, but not with complete success.

Dr. Nott's operation in his case is open to serious criticism, as being most unnecessarily severe. There are but few cases of coccydynia which resist the subcutaneous incision, and he confesses that he has never yet tried it.

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