Removal of the coccyx

Michelle - michelle_l@slingshot.co.nz

Posted 2009-05-17

I want to share my experience so hopefully it helps someone else suffering from this problem as I know who frustrating it can be!

Firstly I'm a 30 year old very active female.

I first noticed pain in my tailbone one night at the pub. It was uncomfortable to sit on the barstool but I just put it down to the chair. After a year I was finding it difficult to sit in my office chair, lying in bed was a mission I would roll over at lightning speed as it hurt to roll over and felt like my tailbone was 'clicking'. Driving was starting to become hard, going to the movies was out of the question and working on the office chair was so uncomfortable I had to get up every 10 mins. I went to the doctor as I couldn't take it anymore. She did an inspection and when she touched the end of my tailbone I literally jumped off the bed. It hurt so much. She sent me for a standing x-ray - nothing out the ordinary showed. She said I should take anti-inflammatory for a month. After taking them for a week and doing absolutely nothing I stopped taking them. I asked her to refer me to a specialist she referred me to a spine surgeon in Parnell, Auckland, NZ, Mr Michael Barnes (see Doctors and specialists in New Zealand). I went to see him and he did the same inspection as the doctor. He suggested I do an MRI just to make sure nothing bad was going on down there. At the time of the appointment he really only suggested surgery as he said cortisone, physio etc won't really do alot. I had already read a lot on this site about it not working for others. He said that he thought I would benefit from surgery.

Went away and had the MRI - it showed nothing out of the ordinary. Went back to the specialist and we booked in for surgery the next week!

27th Feb 09 - Had surgery in the morning and woke up in recovery pretty sore. Good old morphine fixed that. At the end of the day I sat up on the need and was pretty sure the problem had been fixed. I couldn't feel that horrible sharp pain coming from my tailbone when I was sitting on the end of the bed - but thought it might be all the pain killers I was on.

28th Feb - Home time. Ride in the car wasn't too bad. Obviously you can't sit that well but wasn't too bad.

2nd March - Back to work from my home office. Sitting was quite hard but I had brought a kneel chair - the best thing I ever did! If I worked for someone I probably would have taken 1-2 weeks after this surgery as its hard to sit.

6th March - had the dressing changed. Surgeon said it was healing well and probably another week and it would be completely healed.

9th March - I stopped taking tramadol and the other pain meds. Tramadol really was fantastic for taking the pain away - although it makes you feel like a space cadet.

10th March - Drove for the first time. That was a bit tricky and hurt quite alot. I probably should have waited for at least a couple of weeks before I drove.

13th March - surgeon was bang on with the cut healing - exactly one week and its all healed.

13th May 09 - it's been over 10 weeks and the cut sometimes get numb when I put pressure on it for too long. I can sit normally and going to the movies isn't a headache. I've had no complications whatsoever. Obviously everyone's situation is unique but listening to the surgeons advice was the best thing I ever did.

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