Should I have a second surgery?

Sharon

Hello fellow coccyx pain sufferers. It has been 2 years since I had surgery (September 2003) and I have unfortunately had no lasting pain relief or felt any success from the surgery. (You can read my first posts here). Boy has it been a long, exhausting and expensive road!

My orthopedic surgeon (Dr. Daniel Benson from UCD in Sacramento, CA) released me back to my PCP for treatment of chronic pain 6 months after my surgery since he felt there was nothing else he could do to help me. Since that time (September 2003) I have tried virtually everything to ease the pain including: physical therapy (3 different therapists), chiropractics, physiatry, acupuncture, Bowen therapy, massage therapy, e-stim and tens units, ultrasound, traction, even neuro-behavioral therapy where they try to teach you how to train your body to ignore pain signals. I've worn a heel lift to try to correct a "misaligned pelvis and leg-length discrepancy", I've worn an SI-belt to treat one diagnosis of si-joint dysfunction or sacro-ilioitis. I've tried all kinds of combinations of medication - to treat nerve pain, arthritis, depression, etc.

Needless to say, nothing has worked. The only thing that actually provides considerable relief for me is continual pain medication (Celebrex, Tramadol and Darvocet) and ice packs. And not sitting, of course. Even standing and walking becomes difficult rather quickly. I'm most comfortable flat on my tummy. I've had x-rays, mri's, bone scans - nothing significant to report.

Until I went back to see my OS. He took new x-rays and basically said, "Well, I think we may have to do surgery again, looks like I wasn't aggressive enough and should have taken out more." (He only removed 2 of 3 segments, which I trusted at the time was what was necessary). The third segment that remains is the one that is bent, and it seems pretty apparent that this is what is causing pain.

You can imagine my distress and tears when a second surgery was suggested - I hadn't even considered it in my quest for pain relief, and I am extremely anxious about it. The first time around was just awful. Recovery took forever, actually I feel like I'm still recovering.

So, friends, anybody have any advice or thoughts on having a second surgery? I'm scared it will do more damage, although at the same time I'm hopeful this time my recovery might not be so rough if they actually do it right. I kind of feel like its my last hope. I absolutely don't want to live the rest of my life where I am now I don't drive at all, I can't work, I take pain meds all day, I can't have kids and I'm only 27 and otherwise very healthy.

Dr. Benson said he's never recommended a second surgery for any of his patients, but believes it is right for me. He's very cut and dry, no bedside manner, so it's really difficult to have any kind of in depth conversation with him.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings (I can't seem to write a short post!).

Sharon

Updated 2005-05-08

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