Just to give courage to those who might be contemplating surgery, I'd like to say that I'm very happy I had my tailbone removed and feel like I'm almost fully recovered (90-95% better)! Prior to surgery, I had suffered from tailbone pain that began gradually without any injury and became worse (with knifelike or throbbing, burning pain) over two years in an all-day sitting job. I had tried a series of injections, pillows and medications without complete or permanent relief.
It's been about 11 weeks now since my tailbone was removed in January 2001 by an experienced orthopedic surgeon (who has done >50 cases). My recovery has been very fast and I'm back to doing ALL the normal activities, including gardening (with lots of squatting, digging etc.), playing tennis, driving a car, sitting on soft or hard chairs (without any cushions), sitting at the computer (for a couple of hours at a stretch) etc. I still tend to lean forward as I sit and take breaks lying down (mostly out of old habits), but feel like I've got my life back (without having to take daily medications)!
I was deemed a good candidate for surgery, because my coccyx was hypermobile (with telltale pain going from a sit to stand position; also shown on stand/sit x-rays, although the standard x-rays and MRI appeared normal). I got temporary relief from local injections around the tailbone area (which confirmed the source of my pain) and had tried conservative therapies for more than a year.
As I've said before, I'm convinced that more people from this group (t-bones) could benefit from surgery PROVIDED that their pain is caused by the tailbone (not lumbar spine, cysts or tumors etc.) and that they find an experienced surgeon with a good track record (like the one I found through a referral by a member of the t-bones group).
Note from Jon Miles: the surgeon was Dr. Gonzalo A. Covarrubias, but unfortunately as of June 2005, Dr Covarrubias has retired. See the List of Doctors and other specialists