Thirteen year sufferer

Antonina Breen -

When I was 19 I fell onto my coccyx, hitting it quite hard on the wooden arm of a chair. At the time I barely noticed any pain but about 6 months later, not long after starting a sit down job, there was significant discomfort which I visited my GP about. On and off for the following 8 years I had pain from sitting down for even short periods of time, but all my GP did was prescribe pain killers and said that pain of the coccyx was very common and normally faded in time. (HAH)

I actually had a period of about 2 years with no noticeable pain, but then 5 years ago the pain came back with a vengeance, words can hardly describe the pain that I suffered, everytime I was sat down was like sitting on a hard rock and when I got up it was like someone had stuck a knife into my coccyx. My GP just kept changing my pain killers until eventually he referred me to the Nuffield Orthopaedic. Once I was referred I then endured the steroid injections, infra-red therapy, manipulation of the coccyx whilst under general anaesthetic, all this and still taking co - dyhdromol. None of this worked so I was put on the waiting list to have the coccyx removed. As is so typical, when I did get called for the operation the pain was in remission, but I was told that should the pain flare up again all I had to do was get referred again by my GP. Surely enough 1 year later and the pain is back again, and progressively getting worse, luckily I have already been put back on the waiting list but in the meantime I have to take pain killers that have no effect but I have to be seen to be trying.

The specialist that I saw recently tried to persuade me to not have this operation done and instead to take the pain killers when necessary. From the questions he asked me I could tell that he had not read my file or he wouldn't have suggested other options to having the op. I was told prior to having manipulation of my coccyx that it was out by 90 degrees, after manipulation the pain was no better. I'm no specialist but I believe that the pain is nerve and muscle based, removal of the coccyx would stop those nerves and muscles from being pulled on. I'm hoping that this operation will alleviate most of the pain, and discomfort, that even a simple bus journey, or watching the TV, would surely have aggravated.

Antonina Breen

Updated 2003-06-29

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