I am terrified of having surgery . . . . now had it, a complete success!

Nicole - Nicole.Morris@act.gov.au

Original posting, 2002-10-06:

Hi, my name is Nicole and I am 27 years old from Australia. Thank goodness I found this website because like so many others, I thought it was all in my head and I was overreacting (as I am sure others thought I was as well).

I have had coccygodynia for about 3 months now, like a lot of others, at first, it was just a dull ache when I stood up from sitting. I ignored it and thought it would go away for about 4 weeks but the condition got progressively worse to the point now where I can no longer sit at all without severe pain. By this stage I knew something wasn't right so I went to my 1st doctor who prescribed me anti-inflammatory medication and said that my ligaments around my tailbone were swollen!!

After 2 weeks, I had no relief and went to another doctor who immediately diagnosed me with coccygodynia and sent me for CAT scans, which showed no abnormalities but a very curved upwards coccyx. The options put to me were cortisone injections which would be painful and temporary or may not even work at all OR surgery, although I was told that when I have children it will probably snap off while giving birth!!! A pleasant thought - NOT!!!

I have since been referred to a neurosurgeon/spine specialist who I will see next week. I am very grateful however that so many people have shared their stories as I have armed myself with many questions to ask the surgeon. Even though I have read quite a few negative surgery stories, I am still certain that it is the only real option for me as I don't want a temporary fix and the having the probability of it reoccuring. I realise that recovery may take a while but the thought of being like this for the rest of my life is unthinkable. I am very surprised that so many people suffer from this condition and pain as I was told it was quite rare.

Anyway, I would love to see some pictures/photo's of people's cushion designs that have helped them as I have nothing that helps me at present.

Keep the stories rolling everybody, it really makes a big difference knowing that we sufferers have somewhere to share our experiences, god knows no-one else seems to understand!!!!!

Until next time, take care and bottoms up!

Updated 2003-01-19:

Well last time I wrote to this website I was not in great shape. I was in a lot of pain, very frustrated and bordering on depressed. However I am pleased to say that I am now a completely new person. I had my coccyx removed on 28 October 2002 by a neurosurgeon/spine specialist. Apparently I had a very "mobile" coccyx which looked like a fish hook (as it was hooked upwards). The common condition of excruciating pain of sitting and sitting to standing was very much an issue with me.

I spent 4 days in hospital and was up walking around the next day. I won't lie and say it wasn't a painful experience, especially getting the 11 staples removed from my butt crack - OUCH. But can tell you that I noticed the improvement immediately. The sharp intense pain of sitting and sitting to standing has completely vanished. I just get a burning achey sensation in the surrounding tissue of where the coccyx was.

The actual wound (6 cm cut down butt crack) took a long time to completely close (8 weeks) and I think that could have been because the surgeon put in staples instead of stitches???? But 10 weeks on, I am back at work and am able to sit "normally" for extended periods of time. I still have painful moments and have to choose my seating carefully (need soft padded chairs) and find driving for more than 20 minutes a bit too painful but still 100% to what I was beforehand.

The surgeon said it could take 6-8 months before I am completely free of discomfort and I am fine with that because the way I am now is completely tolerable, unlike before the op. I do advise anyone having the operation to expect a lengthy healing process, as I mentioned above, I had 10 weeks off work and wouldn't have been O.K to return before the 8 week mark.

Anyway, I hope this helps anyone who is in two minds of having surgery and wish everyone good luck in their endeavors to be pain free.

Nicole

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