Bel's tale

Barry and Bel - barryg.walton@btinternet.com

Posted 2006-02-26

In February 1982 my wife gave birth to our second daughter, this resulted in her dislocating her coccyx (found following x-ray). After several months she felt comfortable enough not to notice any pain, except when sitting on hard chairs but she could go about her life quite normally.

This continued until July 2005 when she started to experience soreness following bowel movements. After several visits to our GP and treatments, all to no avail, she was referred to the hospital where she went through various investigations which revealed nothing except inflammation. During all of this time my wife kept asking if it could be due to her coccyx, only to be told no connection was possible. When no cause for this problem could be found she was referred to the Orthopeadic Surgeon.

In January 2006 she was finally seen at the outpatients clinic, the Orthopeadic Surgeon requested an X-ray of her Coccyx, on returning to see the surgeon for a review of the X-ray it was discovered she does in fact have a Hypermobile Coccyx, in fact between the last two bones she has a gap.

The surgeon has put her on the waiting list for manipulation of the coccyx under general anesthetic, however she is still not convinced that the constant soreness (which she is still experiencing) is due to the coccyx as she has read on the Coccyx.org site of only one other person with similar symptoms.

If anyone else has or had a similar experience could they please contact my wife at the e-mail address given.

Update from Bel, 2007-07-08

It is 16 months since my first posting on this superb site, unfortunately as with many others I am still in pain. Since February 2006 I have had Manipulation under Aesthetic (MUA) with no improvement, as the Consultant concerned would not consider any other treatment until I had received a further two MUA's, which on his time scale take me up to at least September 2008, something I could not contemplate. I therefore requested a second opinion through my GP, this took place in January 2007 and since then have had a Bone Scan, MRI Scan and CT Scan in addition to an injection.

My new Consultant has told me that the third section of my Coccyx is separated, it is also in a horizontal position pointing forwards towards my bowel, the 1st and 2nd sections he believes are also fused together.

I am now waiting on a date for surgery to remove all three sections, however the pain is relentless. I cannot sit down, so car journey's are a nightmare and only taken when absolutely essential.

A bigger problem is the pain following bowel movements, unfortunately if I don't go this can hurt even more. This part of problem is due I believe to either the coccyx being very close or even touching my bowel, or having read information from this site a Levator Ani muscle problem. It is not the actual bone which is painful but either the bowel or muscles around the bowel.

The do not seem to be many personal experience stories where this problem is mentioned, if there are any other suffers out there with pain following bowel movement can they please e-mail me, particularly if they have found any effective pain relief.

Update from Bel, 2008-02-10

I had my Coccygectomy on November 1st 2007 at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital Oswestry UK. I was in theatre for approximately 2 hours and stayed in for a further 36 hours. The Surgeon found, as he thought, that the 3rd section was free, the 1st and 2nd sections being fused together, all 3 were removed.

The first couple of weeks were painful and sore but bearable with just paracetamol, I had been advised not to try sitting for at least two weeks. The sutures used were of the dissolvable type, unfortunately by the end of week three the knots were pulling into my skin and this in turn was sore and inflamed, as a result of this the nurse at my GP surgery cut the knots off. After two days the soreness had gone.

By week four I was sitting for about 15 to 20 minutes at a time and walking for 30+ minutes quite easily. Unfortunately at week five I developed a blister approximately 30 mm long in the middle of the wound, I was reassured that this would go away of its own accord, however the sutures under the surface of the skin showed no signs of dissolving and were very tight when sitting, it was for this reason that my time spent sitting was short.

Week six and I developed a large stitch abscess on the site of the blister, this resulted in a hole approximately 10 mm in diameter, not nice, at one point my husband was changing the dressing every 45 minutes due to them being soaked in puss, my GP took a swab which four days later showed no infection, but as a precaution I was prescribed strong antibiotics immediately. The following day I was due to see my Consultant for a post op follow up, at this meeting he was not unduly concerned about the abscess or sutures not dissolving.

Week eight and the abscess had healed up, but I still had the blister and sutures which still showed no sign of dissolving.

Week eleven revisit Consultant who was pleased with the abscess site and said it was unlikely to reoccur, he also informed me he had used a long time dissolving suture to provide extra support during the healing process.

Week twelve, five days after seeing Consultant abscess returns, how wrong could he be, a further hole, this time even bigger with a deep cavity below and the stitches still not dissolving, unfortunately without opening the wound up again they cannot be removed.

Week fourteen, still have the hole and stitches, I am visiting my GP surgery everyday for treatment which is designed to make the cavity heal from inside out.

While the pain I had from the Coccyx has gone, with all the problems I have had from week three onwards I feel so angry that this type of suture (without my knowledge) was used, I believe these are the cause of all my post op problems.

Has anyone else had this type of suture for this operation, most people who I read about on this site seem to have had removable sutures, also has anyone had this much trouble with abscesses like this following their coccyx operation.

Because of the trouble I have been experiencing following my operation I have paid for a private CT scan, on his report the Consultant Radiologist states, there is a little cavity in the region of the excised bone of your coccyx, this cavity has a rather thick soft tissue around it, this may represent a residual abscess or area of inflammation, has anyone experience this problem following their Coccygectomy.

Please feel free to e-mail me.

Bel.

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