Success with the surgery

Mike Davison - grouchymike@cox.net

Original posting, 2003-08-10:

I had the surgery on 11th of June 2003.

I am a 37 year old male and have a very high tolerance for pain. I had symptoms of coccydynia for almost two years. I had pain when sitting and increasing for the amount of time sitting. A sharp pain when moving from sitting to standing, but no pain when standing. In the last few months a new symptom developed. Sometimes when I sit I would feel the coccyx dislocate. It would feel like two bones knocking together.

The first six months were mild but getting progressively worse. I went to the doctor and was x-rayed. The films showed nothing abnormal and was advised to use the donut cushion. The doctor even said the coccyx cannot be removed. I used the cushion and things did not get better but slowly started to get worse. I couldn't go to see a show and the duration of a dinner out was about the limit. I did purchase the coccyx cushion, (the one with the U cut out in the rear) and cut the strap that holds the U shape in place so I could pull the U further apart when I sat. This really helped.

I then found your site which has helped me immensely. I printed out all the info that was relevant to me and brought it in to the doctor (Dr. Kaiser). They will not take an x-ray as described on you site. They also sent me to physical therapy. Manipulation did not help. Kegal exercises that they recommended just made things more sore when not sitting. Then I was sent to physical medicine where shots were recommended. I said no. I then DEMANDED additional x-rays. This time I laid on my side in a fetal position and had one x-ray taken relaxed and one with me performing a kegal, (for us men, an anal clench). The two films side by side showed the coccyx moving dramatically.

Meanwhile, I had been taking vicodine as needed. This allowed me to eat out with some comfort and even see a show. It also allowed me to drive a longer distance. It doesn't make me drowsy but it may for anyone else so be careful! Half an hour before an event I will take 1 or 2. (5/500 mg)

From physical medicine I went to the orthopedist. He looked at the x-rays and asked me what I thought. I repeated my story and said it's gotta come out. He agreed. He also told me that there is a high infection rate of about 20% for that procedure. Since my life has been on hold with this problem for some time, I felt I had no choice. My confidence was also boosted by his 30 previous operations for this problem (he is a surgeon with Kaiser in Southern California). The operation would take about an hour and I would stay the night in the hospital.

The day before the operation I was given flagyl for antibiotics and phospo-soda. Phospo-soda is to clean out your plumbing. It's the worst tasting stuff I have ever drank and two hours later if I swallowed a marble it would pop out in 30 seconds just as clean as when it went in.

Recovery was difficult at first. Laying on one side or the other. I recommend very little food or a liquid diet. Being able to sit on the toilet is one problem. Having a bowel movement is completely another problem. The internal swelling pushes on the colon restricting movement. Even extreme pain just coughing, sneezing or nose blowing. The incision is just above the anus and the bandage is taped on with something they use for assembling rockets (my wife refers to the bandage as a manpon). It's not coming off for one week anyway. What follows is the daily recovery (days in bold I consider significant):

Note: A fractured coccyx is a physical problem. Get a proper diagnosis and get treated. Hocus pocus medicine will not help. If you don't like the doctor, go elsewhere.

Update, 2004-01-11:

7 months since surgery.

With very few exceptions, life is back to normal. The exceptions are:

I have since:

(All right, I didn't do the last thing. I'm thinking about it.)

Update, 2011-06-12:

8 years post surgery and everything is in the distant past as if nothing ever happened. The only time I think about my experience is when I get an email on the subject or when I see someone with a coccyx cushion. My surgeon was Dr. James Lau (see Doctors and specialists in the USA, California)

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