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01.12.2019 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

Journal of Medical Case Reports 1/2019

Coccydynia relieved by a tarsal tunnel block: a case series

Journal of Medical Case Reports > Ausgabe 1/2019
Amjid Hammodi
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This case series describes, for the first time, to the author’s knowledge, a novel treatment for coccydynia. Tarsal tunnel block with lignocaine only brought relief of chronic coccydynia lasting more than 6 months in three patients. The author adopts the theory that the myelin sheath of the posterior tibial nerve will convey the lipid-soluble lignocaine upward toward the dorsal root ganglia and the nerve roots of the lumbar spine through the uninterrupted myelin sheath, which is itself mainly formed of lipids. The author thinks that most coccyx pain is actually a radiating pain from the lumbar spine, which is not always apparent on magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbar spine. Certainly, the author acknowledges that large-scale studies need to be done to prove the efficacy of this new technique and to prove that the myelin sheath can convey the lignocaine chemical upward.

Case presentation

Three Arab patients presented with chronic coccydynia of more than 6 months’ duration in whom conservative management had failed to control their symptoms. They had no past medical history of significance and no history of trauma. The results of physical examination of all of the patients were normal apart from tenderness on palpation of the coccyx. They all received local coccyx injection with steroids on two occasions, which failed to relieve their pain. One patient underwent manipulation under anesthesia, and one underwent coccygectomy with no pain relief. Magnetic resonance imaging results were reported to be normal in two of them, whereas the other one had a prolapsed disc at the L4/L5 level. The three patients described pain relief 30 minutes after tarsal tunnel block with lignocaine only lasting more than 6 months. All patients had heel anesthesia 15 minutes after the tarsal tunnel injection, which lasted only 1 hour.


Tarsal tunnel block with lignocaine can relieve coccyx pain for a long time. Tarsal tunnel block can be done to achieve heel anesthesia before injection of lignocaine into the plantar fascia in patients with plantar fasciitis.

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