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June 1937


Author Affiliations

Fellow of the New York Orthopaedic Dispensary and Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1937;34(6):1088-1104. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1937.01190120114007

In 1859 Simpson dignified persistent pain in the coccyx with a new and since popular term, "coccygodynia." Unfortunately, coccygodynia is descriptive in an anatomic and a symptomatic sense only and discourages diagnosis on an etiologic basis. "The Standard Classified Nomenclature of Disease"1 classifies painful coccyx as due to infection (tuberculosis or osteomyelitis) or to trauma (fracture, dislocation and contusion and tear of ligaments). This diagnostic classification also places the responsibility of finding an explanation for the pain on the physician and, fortunately, does not permit him to use the old non-diagnostic symptomatic designation.

HISTORY  The first recorded coccygectomy was done by Jean Louis Petit2 in 1726, for what was probably tuberculosis. Blundell3 in 1840 advised resection of the coccyx for relief of pain of indeterminate origin. Nott4 (1844) receives the credit for the first resection in this country, in a patient with "neuralgia" due to caries

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