My personal saga and coccygectomy

Colleen - tchanley@sympatico.ca

Posted 2008-12-14

So....my pain began Feb 24, 2007 while watching TV. I thought I had been sitting for too long. The discomfort slowly increased till I thought "Man I am watching too much TV". Pretty soon I could not sit at all. Went to the family doc who was not very helpful, started physio, chiro, acupuncture then had a steroid injection from a sports medicine doc June 07 which allowed me to sit on a doughnut cushion.

After that tried an osteopath, then touch therapy (ya now I'm getting into the wacko stuff). Had a second steroid injection May 2008 after an MRI showed inflammation and edema around the coccyx. Saw an orthopod who suggested a coccygectomy but still did not understand why I had the pain so I could not agree to surgery.

Again I am having difficulty living life.... pain is severe at times and do not want to start narcotics but willing to give Lyrica a try because now I am having burning in my buttocks and my lateral femurs.

See a neurologist who thinks that now I have a chronic pain thing going on triggered by the coccygenia. Had a 3rd cortisone injection which was minimally effective for 2 days..... agreed reluctantly to the coocygectomy.

Dec 8 had the most terrifying surgery of my life. My surgery was done on an outpatient basis I am a nurse and remember a patient 32 years ago whose buttocks were black and blue and was in agony for days. Post operatively, the pain was no worse than pre-operatively. I have absolutely no bruising and am taking much less Percocet than prescribed. I continue to PERCH (suspending my tailbone area over the stool or bench or hard chair) and plan to go for a walk in the snow tomorrow and hope to hell I don't slip and fall.

PS Because I live in Canada (much smaller population) ....... my surgeon (Dr. Garth Johnson, Ottawa, see Doctors and specialists in Canada) had only done 3 removals before and he is in his 60's.

Good luck

so far I would recommend it to anyone with chronic pain in that area

Colleen

Update, 2009-01-11

4 weeks post-op yesterday and I am ecstatic!!!!

First of all let me tell you, I was pretty well off the Percocet by day 5 and told my doc he really had to do more patient teaching re: post op recovery cause I thought it would be way worse than it was. It was day surgery and I was home by 5 pm.

I had a massage table set up with a mirror to enable me to watch TV and when I laid on there I had absolutely no pain. I would highly recommend it for anyone having the surgery. I think it put my whole back in alignment and took all the pressure off my sacrum. I had alot of burning down both buttocks and femurs so laying on my side aggravated that pain. I was also walking on my treadmill by day 5 paying very close attention to my bum....."Let Pain be your guide and listen to your body"

I am sitting for longer and longer periods of time though soft chairs still tend to put me "on tilt".

I spent a lot of time driving yesterday (bucket seats ) and my bum was a bit sore BUT, pre op leaned so much to the side I could kiss whoever was the passenger so driving was dangerous as well as painful.

Late night while reading in bed found my self on my back for almost an hour whereas before I could only tolerate laying on my side or tummy.

Still not 100% but am decreasing my Lyrica in the hopes that the burning buttock pain I had pre-op is now gone. (Neurologist thinks that may have been triggered by the coccyx and will become a chronic pain that I have for the rest of my life).

I am back to my pre-op activity of walking quickly 3 miles on the treadmill alternating days with 2 miles on an elliptical trainer. I go back to work this week.

A success story for sure.......good luck to anyone who decides to have the surgery, wish I had done it sooner.

Colleen

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