Coccygectomy solved one problem but created another

Mary in New Zealand

On 11th December 2000 I had a total coccygectomy. Prior to that I was diagnosed as having coccydynia, as a result of a fall on to my bottom in September 1999. I experienced pain on sitting and particularly acute pain when moving from sitting to standing. Dynamic (sitting / standing) x-rays showed a subluxation of the coccyx. A tracing of those x-rays can be seen below along with the radiologists report.

15 months later I am now able to sit without pain in the coccyx area and I no longer experience pain when moving from sitting to standing. However, since approximately 8 weeks after the operation I have been experiencing continuous pain in my buttocks and upper thighs, particularly on the right side, which is aggravated by prolonged sitting and walking. This pain is worse than the coccydynia because I am unable to manage it. I could prevent the coccydynia by not sitting, but this pain is with me all the time. It feels as though the muscles across my buttocks have been pulled too tight. Initially I hoped that it was just my body adjusting to my altered anatomy (being without a coccyx) and that it would gradually settle down – it hasn't.

My physiotherapist believes this new pain is caused by nerve entrapment in scar tissue, but physical treatment (massage, stretching, etc) has provided no relief.

Through the T-bones discussion group I am communicating with another person who has had a very similar experience. I think it's more than coincidence that we are both experiencing almost identical problems after the same operation. I would be most interested to hear from any one else with similar post operative symptoms, so that we can document them and raise awareness of the possibility of this complication.

coccyx x-ray

Updated 2002-04-21

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