Anonymous - firstname.lastname@example.org
I am 30 years old and have suffered with coccyx pain for 2 years now. Have been getting steroid caudal injections every 6 months to manage the pain. After an MRI I was told that my condition was congenital - my coccyx only has 3 fused bones and is curved at the end at an 90 degree angle. As you can probably imagine this means that I can actually feel the pointy tip of the coccyx at the end of my back and it also means that when I sit or lie down I am basically sitting on the bone - it is extremely painful.
Anyway my orthopaedic surgeon referred me to a spinal specialist and I am scheduled for surgery in Jan 08. He said there is no other way for me to become pain free other than removing the coccyx. He maintains that the surgery is less risky in relation to the bowel because of the angle so I suppose that's something positive. His biggest concern presently is regarding the incision site.
I am extremely anxious about this surgery and looking for some info on it e.g. how painful is it really after surgery, how long is recuperation, does it feel strange not having a coccyx, does not having a coccyx have any knock on effects etc etc....
Just a quick update since my last entry. My surgery was scheduled for Jan 16th but was postponed last minute! I was actually down in theatre just about to "go under" when the anaesthetist asked if my surgeon knew I was on the contraceptive pill? It turns out that he didn't actually know and informed me that I couldn't undergo the surgery while still taking the pill!!!
He explained that that undergoing lower limb or spinal surgery while taking the pill is really dangerous and increases the risk of fatal blood clots. Needless to say I was shocked that this had not been disclosed to me 3 months earlier during my consultation. Within an hour of being told I found myself back at home completely dismayed. I had to come off the pill straight away and be off it for at least 6 weeks before he could perform the surgery.
My surgery is now booked for 12th March at 5 pm. I will have endured an extra 8 weeks of agony because of this mistake and also had to pay the hospital 400 Euros for the privilege!!!!
Had my surgery last Wednesday, 12th March 2008. Surgeon removed 3/4 of the coccyx. This update is especially for those of you out there nervous about impending coccyx surgery. Here is my honest experience....
It has now been one week since my surgery and I have to be honest - it is not all that bad!!! The soreness, discomfort and pain is very manageable. The biggest problem I have encountered is pain down my 2 legs from constantly sitting and lying down on my side. Other than that it is fine. I take one difene each morning, 2 tylex at 3 pm and another 2 at 9 pm and my pain is very much under control. My surgeon has done a terrific job as I have no bruising whatsoever. I have very tidy dissolvable stitches that seem to be healing nicely. More importantly I am not as handicapped as some reports have suggested previously. I can sit down to eat dinner and work on my laptop. Obviously I am not sitting right back on the ex-coccyx as that would be very painful but I am however sitting upright keeping alot of the pressure on my thighs and it works...takes alot of the strain off my legs.
Its crucial to stay rested, if you over do it you will pay for it. I had alot of visitors one day in particular and spent hours up on my feet chatting etc and when everyone left I felt very ill and totally exhausted. I spent most of the next day in bed completely wiped out!!
So far so good - I will update again in another few weeks.
3 WEEKS AFTER SURGERY:
I am so happy to report that 3 weeks post-op I am off all meds and sitting fairly comfortably for up to 30 minutes. I came off all pain relief after 2 weeks and also stopped taking difene.
I get my wound dressed every 2 days at the local health centre. It took a while to close and am still waiting for one stitch to dissolve fully - but other than that everything is going extremely well.
Will be off work for another 4-6 weeks though because I cannot drive and don't expect to be able to drive for another couple of weeks.
The worst part of this surgery in my experience was coping with how sick I became from taking difene - it tore the stomach out of me which was unpleasant.
Will keep posting my progress.