Questions before surgery

Linda - lafergie@msn.com

Posted 2006-11-05

I have suffered from coccyx pain for nine years. I have found a surgeon who has done 12 coccyx removals. He seems knowledgeable and assures me that I am a good candidate for the surgery. Anyone familiar with Dr. Brian Subach in Northern Virginia? He is a neurosurgeon. Do you think 12 surgeries is "enough" experience?

I have pretty much made up my mind that I will have surgery right after the holidays. My questions are: Why do so many people suffer from scar tissue pain at the surgery site? Does this scar tissue pain ever go away? Is it worse than coccyx pain? ...and finally why is the success rate of this surgery only 85%? Do the other 15% end up with worse pain??

I appreciate anyone with any insight to these questions contacting me at lafergie@msn.com.

Thanks in advance,

Linda

Update, 2007-03-18

Since my last posting in November, I have had my surgery. My surgery was December 27, 2006. (Merry Christmas!) At my pre-op, the surgeon showed me a cat scan picture of my coccyx. It was very obviously bent to one side and there was a bone chip beside it. I was relieved to see that there was a cause for the last nine years of pain. I fell on it in a hot tub, so I knew there was a cause for the pain, but doctor's just kept telling me it would take a long time to heal. Come on! Nine years?? I finally found someone who would not only do the surgery but assured me I was a good candidate for the surgery.

Anyway, I had my surgery, stayed two nights in the hospital. A week later, the incision was red and very painful. Now I had been told that there is a high rate of infection with this surgery, but I thought -- not me -- I'm way too anal (no pun intended) for that. I'll wait extra time before I shower, I'll keep the area clean and dry and do everything they tell me to. Didn't matter, it still got infected.

Unfortunately, the doctor didn't tell me what would happen if it did get infected. I thought I would just need a different antibiotic. Wrong. Back to the hospital for three nights, open the incision, clean it out, re-stitch and add super sutures that made six big holes in my butt and hurt like hell. Two weeks later stitches removed, two days later the incision split open. I'm still not sitting, not doing anything to cause this. It just splits open. In addition, the antibiotics they put me on are making me deathly ill. Back to the hospital to have a PIC line put in for intravenous antibiotics three times a day for a month. Overall, not a fun experience. BUT, I'm still thinking positive and hoping that it will all be worth it if my pain is gone.

Now, I'm beginning to wonder... Before I had the surgery, the pain would wake me up several times during the night and I would have to massage the coccyx and change positions and eventually fall back to sleep. Now, I'm having the same problem at night. I still can not sit directly on my bottom, so I am back to sitting on coccyx cushions. Has anyone else had a similar experience? Especially with the pain at night? That is really freaking me out.Thanks Jon for the website and thanks in advance for anyone who responds to me with their insight. It is much appreciated. Linda

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