Coccydynia after laminectomy

Jim M -

I am a 50 yr. old male who recently (2002-04-23) underwent a laminectomy (no fusion) at L4/L5 for moderate to severe spinal stenosis, with previous classic symptoms of spinal stenosis, i.e.chronic low back/buttocks/leg/ankle pain, especially in the standing position. In terms of alleviating those symptoms, I guess you could consider the surgery a success in that those symptoms, as of now, are 95-99% gone.

However, within one week of the surgery I started getting a very localized specific pain in the coccyx, which has gradually worsened to the point where it is almost crippling at times. The pain can best be described as a very sharp, searing, "electric" type pain usually just a tad to the left or right on the end of the coccyx. Standard x-rays revealed no fracture, although the dynamic x-ray procedure was not used. The pain is usually brought on by bending or twisting, even slightly. The worst episodes are when getting into car to drive. When seated, pain is reduced, especially when I shift from one side to another. Standing is somewhat OK, except for climbing stairs or walking over a half mile or so.

My spinal surgeon (who is considered very good) has no explanation for this pain, other than to suspect that it is some residual or referred pain from the laminectomy, that hopefully will clear up..I am somewhat doubtful, however). I am on pain medication (Percocett, Demerol) which helps somewhat in that they dull the pain, bed rest (lying on my side) also helps. The surgeon has next recommended that I see a pain management MD for possible cortisone injection, which I am in the process of doing. Approx. 15 months prior to my laminectomy I was very active and fit . . . jogging (for 23 years), trail running, weights, hiking, biking, golf, etc. I now feel that I've done a complete "180" in that I can barely walk or bend many times.

Has anyone else had a similar experience or know of one? I would be most interested in hearing from you and possible solutions to the problem. Also, does anyone know of an orthopaedic doctor in the greater NYC/Philadelphia/NJ area who has experience in diagnosing and treating coccydinia? Responses would be most appreciated and thanks for this informative and comprehensive website.

Jim M. (NJ-USA)

Updated 2002-05-19

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