David H from Lancashire in the NW of the UK (52 years old) - Kagloo@aol.com
Some years ago I damaged my coccyx whilst riding a bike on my way to work. Since then I have had intermittent periods of discomfort. But over the past three years or so the pain has increased steadily until I have reached a point that I can hardly bear it any longer. It even hurts when I cough!
Two years ago I had Cortizone injections. They hurt a bit but the relief from the pain was wonderful. The first injections lasted for almost a year then the pain gradually came back with a vengeance! One year ago I had more injections - they lasted about 10 months. Then the pain returned - but much more severe this time. I then had three injections one after the other and they just have not touched the pain at all!
In desperation I visited my doctor again and he offered me Diclofenac suppositories and they worked for about two months before the pain somehow managed to cancel out the effects of the drug. (Quite apart from the fact that using the suppositories was very uncomfortable.) I asked about surgery and the doctor said that there is nothing that can be done!!!!
Then I found this site ! At last! Now I know that there is more that can be done..... but I have a few questions....
I was infected with the Hepatitis B virus at work and have suffered a great deal of liver damage over the past three and a half years. I am currently taking a very powerful anti-viral drug called Lamivudine (Used for HIV+ patients - I am not HIV+ !!) which has helped curb the damage to my liver but is now becoming less and less effective. I am now waiting for a course of Interferon injections in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus and the mutant strain that has emerged over the past three years ( Clever little so-and-so's these viruses!!!)
My first question is this: Would my condition effect my suitableness for surgery? i.e. Would have chronic liver disease and being Hep B + and actively infectious preclude me from possible surgery?
Secondly I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses and, as you know, we do not accept whole blood transfusions! Is the operation to remove the coccyx problematic when it comes to blood loss? Does anyone know of any surgeons in the UK who would be prepared to operate without the use of blood? I do not have any problems with synthetic substitutes. Just so long as there is no human blood used in the manufacture.
I would welcome any feedback from anyone who can offer some positive advice/help/encouragement.
I have recently been referred to an orthopaedic surgeon by another doctor at my group practice, and hope to have an appointment soon. It would be nice to be armed with as much information as possible before I go to see them.
Thanks to all contributors to the site and the webmaster for such an informative and easy to understand site.
Note from Jon Miles:
Coccygectomy does not normally need a blood transfusion. I'm afraid I don't know how liver disease might affect surgery.