Original posting, 2003-06-29:
Hello coccyx sufferers!
I had a fall from my cycle in 2002, and hurt my coccyx. I was repeatedly told by NHS Dr's that I had done nothing to it. They also said I couldn't have an X-Ray, due to the area being close to my ovaries. My Pain Clinic guy said "educated people tend to over-analyse things", and "we'll put you on anti-depressants....so you don't think you're in pain..." etc, etc This went on for thirteen months, when I had exhausted the system, and had no appointments left to attend. They wouldn't even give me a wedge cushion, and as a mature student, then off work due to this, (or the medication for it, which turned me into a zombie) I couldn't afford all the trimmings, continuously.
They left me in agony....and in desperation I looked elsewhere (including this site), where I gained advice from DR MICHAEL DURTNALL, a chiropractor in KENSINGTON, LONDON, UK. [See list of doctors and other specialists]
After waiting over 13 months for any sort of relief, I visited Dr Durtnall and was fixed in 1 hour.
He performed a procedure I would not have received on the NHS, despite my physiotherapist being trained to perform it. I also had a 'low dose' X-Ray, which clearly showed a dislocation. Dr Durtnall put pressure on the affected bone from internally, pushed down on it, and a click could be heard, popping it back to where it was before the impact. Hopefully it should stay there, but I will return to check, and repeat if necessary. This was painless in comparison to the agony when sitting, lasted seconds not minutes, and I was trotting down the street grinning broadly within the hour.
The additional problems due to posture, looking at the ground through fear of jarring yourself, and alternative weight bearing practises causes so much strain, I was not surprised I needed such adjustments. I would recommend the treatment, available at the 'Sayer Clinics', in Kensington & Chelsea, London, as it was the first time I was able to talk to someone who could not only recognise the injury, but also fix it.
I felt my age again (27), and couldn't stop smiling for days. The relief after so long was welcome, and although I may need one or two more treatments, I now only suffer from inflammation of the area due to me continuing to sit on it for the last thirteen months.
A very much happier Helen Buckthorp, 27 years, Devon, UK
I am still seeing Michael Durtnall monthly in London, as I am finding it helpful.
I have now seen a (nother) pain management doctor at Berkshire (as I have moved from Torquay), who is giving me a general anaesthetic next month, then seeing if it helps or not.
The outcome of this will determine if I am a candidate for surgery...although I am sure Dr Maigne did this in France, and the injection did not help. I am also still not convinced about the op.
I'll have to go through the motions with it all, otherwise they will think I'm being difficult!!
I thought I would update you on my progress since having my coccyx out in January. I'm doing ok - I still can't say I'm better as I can't sit for any longer than 5 minutes yet, and still have long periods of pain when doing so , but I'm walking a bit more like a lady now and can close my legs when I'm stood, instead of leaning over all the time. Pr Doursounian (surgeon in Paris) was very good, very professional and thinks I will make a complete recovery, but I had a lot of tissue damage as I had had the problem for four years, so the digging up of my coccyx took a bit more out of me than was anticipated. I followed your advice on the site (things I would do if I know what I do now) and I couldn't agree more- Pain management and the NHS are rarely worth the letters, appointments and painkillers, and they disregard the coccyx it just drives you insane!
I'm pleased I went to see Dr Michael Durtnall at Sayer clinics, London, as he X rayed me, and gave me hope. He was the only person I saw in the whole years who actually discussed the coccyx like it existed and moved it (rectal manipulation) although NHS Drs said this wouldn't help. Well, its state of mind I think, and if the slight relief I got for those few minutes helped, then I'll go with that. I'm pleased I saw Dr Durtnall, as he is obviously very experienced with the coccyx and gives you a straight answer on what he thinks may be wrong and if he can help. Straight answers are hard to find when you're in coccyx land, so if anyone's thinking they're crazy, read on this site a bit more, and you'll realise you're not.
I'm still using a coccyx cut out cushion, and still sitting on one bum cheek and cannot drive yet, but I'm getting there. I rely on less painkillers now, which were a problem as I was in pain day and night, and taking over 20 dihydrocodeine a day not to mention the oramorph... these drugs are very bad for the rest of your body (and mind) and they are handed out too easily by Drs wanting to fob you off. I have no regrets yet about having surgery privately in France, and although financially there is a burden, it is worth it at the moment for the improvement.
I hope you are all recovering or not suffering and please keep sharing your experiences and tips on coping. After the op, I found the added height toilet seats a big help, and the 'helping hand' grab tool-these were ideal while movement was restricted and I couldn't bend. I also used a crutch to keep other people away from me and give me more room and time when in busy places. It saves having to get funny looks when you walk slow and awkwardly.