Surgery revealed bone spur on coccyx

Heidi - hidabrem@charter.net

Posted 2007-04-15

Hi, my experience with coccydynia sounds very familiar in many of these stories posted. In April of 2004 after a grueling week of orientation for a new position, I found a somewhat bothersome pain coming from that area. Weeks and weeks went by with increasing pain when sitting, so I decided to see my Primary Care Physician. Without a cause for this unexplained pain there didn't seem to be much she could do. Rounds and rounds of anti-inflammatory, x-rays, pain meds all without long-term benefits. Eventually I was ordered to have an MRI, surely this would show something.

Again, nothing to back up my complaints. Well, as all of you know, that can be somewhat depressing and I found myself beginning to think it was "all in my head". Then one morning I realized that it was becoming harder to ignore than I thought and decided to go see an Orthopedic Dr. He really didn't have any advice for me either, but did suggest the ol' cortisone injection. I am fairly good with pain, so what the heck I said. Not bad, a few extra days of worsening pain, and then -relief!!!! About 7-10 month's worth. Ok, I said, should give me time to heal. That ended up being four shots total before they didn't work anymore and I came to the conclusion that there is truly something wrong. I'd done months, if not years of researching this pain and knew it would be up to me to find an answer. Was surgery what I needed? And why would a Dr. do it if there were no visible reason to?

The first thing to do was to even find a surgeon. After reading several of the testimonials, I thought I never would. There just aren't very many physicians out there who would even know about coccygectomy. Well, I found one, right up the street at that. He is an Orthopedist specializing in spinal surgery. Jackpot. I went to him and laid it all on the table. He immediately ordered x-rays. By the way, they showed nothing......hmmmmmm. But, after a long talk with him, and a rectal exam (which I didn't see coming) he said

"you would be a good candidate for surgery". But, he wanted me to think about it for another month and then come back and see him.

I didn't make it that long. I was having pain even when I walked. I am a medical secretary and sit all day, which also was causing major problems. About two weeks after I saw him I had a moment I will never forget. I woke up for work, went in to use the bathroom and could not sit down on the toilet, my tailbone was stuck in a jutting out position. I was in tears. After about an hour I forced myself into my daily routine and promised myself that would never happen again. I called their office that morning and talked with the surgery scheduler. She informed me that the Dr. was taking a vacation and booked for at least 6 to 8 weeks. There was no way I could wait that long. I begged her to talk to the Dr. and see if they could fit me in ASAP.

I got a call back in about a week with good news. He could perform the surgery in two weeks! Now I had to tell my boss who knew very little of my situation, that I would be out of the office for at least two full weeks. She was not happy, but after explaining the whole thing decided there really wasn't a whole lot she could do. I mean, I was willing to step out of my position to do this. And mind you, I just finished 13 months of school and a month of on-the-job training to get this job.

So, March 28th was my D-day, and I was both happy and scared. I was to stay overnight and then go home with a recovery time of how long? No one really knows. Some of the testimonials said 2 weeks and some are still recovering months later. Oh well, nothing is stopping me now. I arrived at the hospital outpatient surgery center at 6:30 a.m. to be operated on at 8:30. After a talk with my Docs and the Anesthesiologist, I was placed on a good dose of IV antibiotics. (We have all read that the infection rate is pretty high for this surgery.) Had a small reaction, but continued on it. Off to sleep and then recovery.

I woke up feeling ok, just confused. Back at my room I was kept on a good maintenance dose of some wonderful pain killers. I was only staying the night which went by way too fast. I had a few problems with pain, but all in all, nothing worse than what I had been dealing with. Hardest part was turning from side to side. With the help of an overhang bar above my bed it made it much easier. So, about 7 a.m. one of my surgeons came up to do rounds and talked to me a little bit about what they did find. Apparently when making the incision, my tailbone jumped out of my skin like it had been trapped in there. He also said that there was a bone spur like a knife and a pocket of fluid surrounding the whole thing. He had never seen anything like it and wondered how it was I was living like that. Just goes to show you that tests and x-rays don't always give concrete proof that there is a problem. Stick it out, go with your gut and find someone who will listen to you.

It is now day 17 post op and I feel pretty good. Had some exudate coming from an irritated stitch, but nothing major.

Healing takes time! Don't let anyone tell you that you will be like new in a few weeks. I am sitting as I write this, but still just edged to the front of the seat as to not put too much pressure back there. I have driven, short distances, and am ready to go back to work. I go for a follow up appt in a few days. Hopefully he will release me back to work. I hope my story helps someone out there. I know this website did. Lots of luck to those of you who are suffering from this pain.

Heidi

St. Louis, Missouri

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