My surgery experience...

Paulina - paulinabroadhurst@yahoo.co.uk

Original posting, 2004-12-05:

I had my coccygectomy on the 11 November, 2004.

My pain started 2 years ago after a holiday, but I don't know why. It just came on suddenly. I struggled at work for a month before going to see a GP. My doctor told me to sit on a cushion on my chair at work and he told me to take some mild painkillers. I tried this for two weeks and it did not help at all. I then went back and he said that maybe I should try a 'donut' shaped cushion. I tried that for 2 weeks and it still didn't do anything for me so I went back to see my GP and he gave me a cortisone injection and signed me off work two weeks so that I could rest. Well, this didn't work either so he said that next step would be to operate and have my coccyx removed. At that time I was not keen on surgery as I thought there must be another way to help me before such a drastic move.

I went to see a chiropractor and after examining me she said that my coccyx was tilted to the right and she would try to manipulate it back. This took a few months and it actually worked for about 9 months, but it caused a lot of lower back pain as my pelvis was slipping out of place. I had to wear a really tight belt around my hips to keep my pelvis in place for about 2 months. I was able to work through this but I was uncomfortable. I felt like I was always going to be in pain, if not in the coccyx then in my lower back.

It came back with a vengeance in July this year after a long flight to Canada. By the time I got home I was in so much pain. I knew that a chiropractor could not help me. I didn't want them to touch the area because it hurt that much. I went and had an x-ray done privately and when it was examined it showed that my coccyx was bent and pointing upwards in a very strange way. I was advised to see an orthopaedic surgeon.

At my appointment the orthopaedic surgeon had a look at the x-ray and was very surprised that I hadn't had a injury to cause this. He did and internal examination and grabbed a hold of my coccyx and said it was very mobile. He said that it would be best to try the cortisone injection again and if this didn't work he would schedule me in for surgery. As you can guess it didn't work. I was put on what they call 'soon' waiting list here on the 14 September 2004. So if a cancellation came up they would call me to come in. Its normally a nine month waiting list. I was originally told not to expect anything until Jan/Feb next year so I prepared myself for that. I then got a call and was told that there was an opening on the 15 December so I took that. A few days later they called me again and said they had a cancellation so I was booked for the 11 November. I was so happy as the pain was getting worse everyday.

Surgery went well. The surgeon told me that my coccyx was in two pieces and would have caused me pain all my life if it wasn't removed. I was in hospital for 2 nights as I was given antibiotics. I was able to get up the next day to go to the bathroom. In the afternoon my husband came to visit me and we had a walk around the hospital. Walking made me feel a lot better.

When I got home I was able to sit on my side with my feet up, and I laid on my side and stomach as well. I did a lot of walking. I took pain killers three times a day for the first week but in the second week I only took then once or twice a day and now I don't need them at all. I'm able to sit on a hard chair for about half an hour without any pains.

I went to the hospital for a check up and had one stitch removed. The rest are the dissolvable type. The doctor told me that everything was healing well and I should be able to get back to work on the 20th of December.

I am so glad I had this surgery. The pain I had before is gone. I know it will take some time to get back to normal but I feel so much better now. My orthopaedic surgeon was: Mr S H Ali at Rotherham General Hospital, in Rotherham, England (See List of doctors and specialists in the UK (South Yorkshire)).

I would just like to say thank you to Jon for creating this website. It has been a great help to me. :0)

Update, 2005-02-27:

Well its been over 3 months now since my surgery and I feel fantastic! I can't believe how much my life has changed since having my coccygectomy. I'm like a new person!

I went back to work gradually, so 2 hours a day for a week, 3 hours next week and so on. I have been working my normal hours now since the 20th January 2005 and I have no problems at all. I can sit for hours on a hard chair. The only problem I still have is when I sit on soft surfaces, like on the bus or on the couch but that is also getting better every week. The pain is only minor, nothing like before the surgery so I can live with it! I had a check up in January and the surgeon was really pleased with my progress. I think that even he was surprised at how well I was doing.

My lower back has been feeling really stiff but I had this since before the surgery so I don't think its related. I'm having some physiotherapy on it which has helped tremendously.

I have booked a holiday and for the first time in over 2 years I'm not dreading the flight! I don't regret having this surgery. Its brought my life back to normal now. If anyone has any questions you can always e-mail me.

Paulina

Update, 2009-07-05:

I just wanted to post an update on my story. Its been nearly 5 years (in Nov) since I've had my coccygectomy and I am so glad that I did. I've had no problems at all and the only bit of pain I feel is if I sit on the floor too long. Since my last post I've had a baby in Dec 2006, and although I suffered with SPD (Syphysis Pubis Dysfunction- basically pelvic pain) during my pregnancy I don't think this was related to my coccyx surgery. I saw a chiropractor who helped me manage the discomfort and I had to wear a support belt around my hips and under my massive bump! I had my daughter by c-section but only because she was in the breech position. No problems and no need for me to see a chiropractor since my pregnancy. I have recently started running and am doing my first 5k run next week.

As I've said before, the surgery has changed my life for the better and I don't regret having it. Feel free to email me for any other questions

Paulina

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