Pain in my coccyx area was "referred pain" from slipped disc

Dicey

Posted 2006-08-13

Where it all began ..20 years ago whilst playing netball. I was 20 years old and managed to rupture my coccyx, or so the hospital said - there was no fall, knock or hard landing. If I knew then what I know now I would have questioned this diagnosis. But I was stretchered from the netball court to the nearest A&E - it was a hellish ride! All the way I held the ambulance person by his pants (between his thighs if truth be known) because he kept trying to put my legs down to make me lay flat and each time he did, I twisted his flesh to make him stop! Desperate I know, but that pain was excruciating.

Suffice to say, I ended up being admitted to the hospital for 10 days, having pethidine injections in my thighs for pain relief. Pin cushion is not the word!

Over the years I have suffered with back spasms, bouts of Sciatica and flare-ups - some so bad the only time I left my bed was to crawl to the loo and back again. Generally, my back/bottom has been ok. That was until I made the mistake of taking Spinning classes at the local gym. Lol!!!! I am sure you can relate to not being able to get up from your chair in the office, choosing restaurants by their chairs or carrying a cushion with you everywhere to have more choice, not being able to turn over in bed at night without sheer agony, dead legs, numb backside, etc…And nothing touches that pain. Tablets, bah humbug!

2 years on I am still in pain. I underwent an MUA (manipulation under anaesthetic) in August 2005. Apart from "womens problems" I had never had an operation before, so you can appreciate I was very scared. When you consider where the entry is for this operation it can be very unpleasant. I remember ringing the hospital and asking them if they would give me an enema before the op! The Sister thought I was crazy and was very good in explaining that as long as you were "regular" then there would not be any embarrassing accidents.

The MUA was fantastic - I also had a dose of Steroids and painkillers pumped into the site. Going home that same afternoon was a little tricky but relatively pain-free. After the grogginess had passed I realised that I was pain free - what a fantastic feeling! Things stayed that way for almost 4 months and then that searing, unbearable pain in the backside hit me again whilst getting out of the car one day. It got progressively worse, until I could not stand it anymore and found myself back in my Doctors surgery begging for pain relief once again.

I had already been told by the surgeon who performed my MUA that he did not remove the coccyx - never had and never would. I had the choice of having another MUA or being referred to the Pain Clinic - doing this for the next 40 years did not appeal to me! So, being the proactive type, I found myself searching the coccyx.org website for a Surgeon. Mr Bloomfield was not too far from my home so I made an appointment with my GP and told her I had tracked down this fab Surgeon with good experience of treating and removing the coccyx. My GP wrote to my Bloomfield at St Peters Hospital in Surrey, stated my case for receiving treatment out of my catchment area and we waited for a response.

Within 4 weeks I received a letter from Mr Bloomfield with an appointment 3 weeks away. I was over the moon, my request had got through. I was at last going to see this great Surgeon and all my troubles would be over. Well not quite...

At my first appointment - thorough external examination and long chat - Mr Bloomfield informed me that in his opinion I did not have typical coccyx pain. He said I either had arthritis or a broken coccyx and arthritis if I was very unlucky , as the pain in my Sacrum was horrendous. He agreed to send me for a scan. The appointment came up in June this year - very quick, but this is because he mainly deals with private patients.

I had my scan results with Mr Bloomfield yesterday at Ashford Hospital. The results were not what I expected at all. I have a prolapsed disc - L5/S1 - and this is what has caused me so much pain over the last 2 years. The pain in my coccyx area was "referred pain". Could have been much worse I suppose, so I am very grateful at this stage. Arthritis in the future is a possibility - there are no guarantees for any of us I guess. Mr Bloomfield has put me on the waiting list to have an epidural. Consideration for surgery is on the back burner for now.

So, thanks to the wonderful Mr Bloomfield, I shall be leaving this Forum and joining one for Slipped Discs!

Besides the regret of leaving the site, I also regret having undergone an MUA 12 months ago as it was not needed. The operation was a success in the short term but it meant that I had a week off work and ended up with asthma due to the effect of the anaesthetic. Add to all of that the stress, upset, and distress for me and my family, it is no laughing matter. So my advice to you all is to make sure that your diagnosis is correct to start with. I probably could have had my disc repaired by surgery by now.

I would like to wish you all well and thank you for posting your stories and tips. Without this information I would never have found Mr Bloomfield and would still be suffering with a pain in the b*m!!

All the best.

Dicey

PS The only thing that reduced the level of pain for me was Ibuprofen Gel. It's 10% concentrated and worked for me a treat - and still does. You can only get it on prescription from your GP. Might be worth a try. Good luck xxx

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