How Soon After a Coccygectomy Can You Have a Steroid Injection?

Someone recently asked me:

How Soon After a Coccygectomy can you have a Steroid Injection?
  • The answer is: “it depends.”
  • Most patients tolerate corticosteroid (steroid) injections very well. These injections can be very helpful for a wide variety of painful musculoskeletal conditions. But it is important to recognize that there are some people who are at increased risk of running into problems when receiving steroid injections. Let’s consider this further…
  • Some people have a weak immune system and you would want to avoid or be cautious about giving any steroid injections while they are recovering from surgery.

    • By “weakened immune system” we mean that the person has a decreased ability to fight off infections.
    • For example, some people may have a weakened immune system due to HIV/AIDS, cancer, chemotherapy treatment, immunosuppressant medications after organ transplantation, etc.
    • In those situations, it may sometimes even be advisable to have a consultation from a physician specializing in “infectious diseases” or immunology, in order to get a formal opinion regarding whether a steroid injection would be likely to be problematic or not.
  • People with diabetes should be aware that sometimes steroid injections can cause an increase in their blood sugar levels. This is especially true if their baseline blood sugar levels are already high even prior to injection.  That is typically in people who do not have their diabetes under adequate control.
  • After coccygectomy, there is a significant risk of infection at the surgery site. So, it makes sense to be cautious about giving a steroid injection at the surgery site, since doing so may even further increase the risk of infection at that surgery site. This is mainly true during the initial weeks/months  after the surgery.
  • So, there may be some increased risk of infection at the coccygectomy site if there is a steroid injection done close to the coccygectomy site, especially within the first couple of months or so. After that, the risk would never be zero, but would be expected to be less and less the further someone is out from the coccygectomy.


  • Steroid injections at OTHER parts of the body:
    • The further away the steroid injection is from the surgical site, the less likely it is to cause any infection or other problems at that surgical site.
      • For example, a steroid injection at the sacroiliac joint would be less likely to be problematic than an injection directly at the coccygectomy surgery site.
      • An injection up at the lumbar spine is even further away from the coccygectomy surgery site, and therefore would be expected to be even less likely to cause problems at the  coccygectomy surgical site.
      • An injection even further away than that (such as an injection in the arms or legs) is even further away from the coccygectomy site and therefore would be expected to be even less likely to cause problems at the coccygectomy surgery site.


  • Of course all of this would need to be considered/discussed with the in-person treating physicians.


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– Patrick Foye, M.D., Director of the Coccyx Pain Center, New Jersey, United States.

Patrick Foye, M.D.
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