I just wanted to say I found this site to be helpful, hopeful, and now I am better off because of it. Thanks to all the stories that have been posted. Now I would like to share mine from Minnesota, USA.
The Accident -
Well unfortunately I can't exactly say why my tailbone started hurting. I have fallen many times in my life I have tried to remember the instances that I have but I have come up with so many. The only one I can think of that was very painful was falling off a horse, but I sprained my ankle ripped my quad and scraped up my back on that occasion. I could hardly walk so that is my guess when I broke it. That was back in 1985.
Symptoms when it started hurting - April 7 2003
I have had problems with my lower back for about 5 years now but my tailbone just last year. When my tailbone first started bothering me it only felt like a pulled or strained muscle in my butt. (I thought it would just go away) By late August/ Early September I couldn't participate in softball anymore and walking and jogging was getting to be out of the question. I noticed my limp (I have had a very slight limp since high school never really new why guess I might now) well my limp was getting worse. My left leg was aching all the time, it felt like my quad muscle was tight, cramped and tired all the time. It would actually just shake uncontrollably once and a while. I couldn't touch my lower back, it felt swollen and hot to the touch. Sitting now was getting to be unbearable in any position. I felt like I was sitting on or had something up my butt. (Sorry how else can you explain that?) My sleeping habits were terrible I couldn't fall asleep at night and I would wake up every time I wanted to roll over. I was starting to get depressed because I couldn't do anything.
Doctor visit -
I finally went to the doctor in Mid September 2003. I got referred 3 times till I got a specialist that read my x-ray and seen that my tailbone was totally broke off and was sitting unattached at 90 degree's pointed inward. It was just floating in there, wow that was a shock. But not really because I could feel something moving around when I would try to adjust how I was sitting, standing or lying.
TIP: If you hurt your tailbone - GET X-RAY'S TAKEN, don't let them say well we can't do nothing about it anyway. At least you will know how it is positioned, if it is just cracked/fractured or possibly broken off. I have learned it might take YEARS before you start having problems and/or pain. (Especially for women) And there are doctors out there who do the surgeries; unfortunately it might be hard to find them.)
Of course the doctor asked the routine questions; like have you fallen lately? How long has this bothered you? Blah, blah, blah (you know the Questions) so I told him all the answers that I could. He said surgery would be possible after a year if absolutely necessary but we should try a few things first. I had tried a donut but that made the pain worse, the Celebrex, pain pills did nothing, stretching was not a good idea, I stopped walking thinking that would help- it didn't. I went to the chiropractor- which had helped out for about a day. I did the cortisone injection in December that didn't help at all. (But the numbing stuff (Novocain) they used with the injection was nice for a day). Finally I had to ask for pain pills- darvocet is what they gave me. The pills helped me for a few months so at least I could get through a day of work which sometimes was tough. I bought a Boppy Pillow (a nursing pillow You can find them at K-mart, Wal-mart or Target) that is what saved me for the remainder of the time before surgery.
Surgery day - April 7, 2004
The surgery went fine. It was about an hour long. I didn't like the Anesthesia too much it made me sick for about 1-1/2 days, I couldn't eat anything and keep it down. I finally got food in me late the second day. I was on pain pills and a morphine drip which was necessary for the first 2 days. The doctor was only concerned with infection that could arise from the wound. I was in the hospital till the 10th. They would let me go home as soon as I could get up and walk around and when I stopped taking the morphine drip. The doctor said the piece of tailbone that he had removed from me was about 2 inches long by ¼ inch thick. So I am happy to get that out of me.
At Home - April 10, 2004
The ride home was very uncomfortable. I sat sideways on my boppy pillow. Every little bump was not very pleasant. I had got a cot and set it up in the living room which is where I slept for the next month. The reason is I have a waterbed and I couldn't get out of it. I had to sleep on my sides for it was uncomfortable sleeping on my back and I am a person who has never liked sleeping on my stomach. So my hips eventually did start aching quite a bit. I had to change the bandage everyday, which you need someone who can do that job. I was on pain pills for about a month or so. Walking and getting around the house got easier in about a week. I started walking to the mailbox in about 2 weeks and just started to do more after that. After I did anything I did get very tired and had to go relax on the couch.
I was out walking in 2 weeks, 3 miles a day after just 1 month after surgery, but I still couldn't sit. Tried jogging at 2-1/2 months after surgery and that went ok. I started sitting a little now and then but it was still a little tough even on my boppy pillow. I didn't understand I could do a lot of things physically but I still couldn't sit. It was worrying me a little. I started going to physical therapy and wow that set me back. But after about 10-12 sessions boom I could sit in a chair for 1 – 2 hours and it wasn't too bad. Boy I was a happy camper. I was back to work full time at 2-1/2 months. (I should have started physical therapy sooner about 1 month after surgery not 2 months) I started playing softball at 3 months (just a few innings a game) and at 4 months I could plop in a chair so I ever tried sliding in softball, which even felt good. I got on my 10 speed bike at 4-1/2 months. I took it easy but it felt good just to ride again.
At least now I feel like I have my life back. The doctor said it could take 1-2 years to get back to 100% pain free. Right now I feel I am about 85% pain free. I can handle that 15% of pain that I have now, considering what I felt like before the surgery.
So anyone and everyone out there with pain. I know how you feel. Just hang in there and do what you can. I recommend the surgery to anyone. Yes it is not an easy one but the outcome is way better than what you put up with day after day. There are a few instances that the doctor might say it might not help but what do you have to lose to try. Another thing is check out your posture. That helped me to sit better, at least after surgery. Mine had gotten terrible and I didn't even realize it.
Hang on, be strong, and good luck
My doctor's name is Joel A Zamzow M.D (see Doctors and specialists in the USA, Minnesota). I recommend him highly. He did a great job on me. And I would not hesitate to do it again (if I had the need to).