Kim - Kim.Fellows@stourbridge.ac.uk
I am a 46 year old mother of 3 grown up children, I work full time and I had been suffering for around 3 years with acute pain, I have no idea what started the pain at all, it affected all aspects of my life especially travelling. I am a college trainer at a construction college so I need to be mobile when teaching practical lessons! I had seen by the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham for 2 years and had been told that there was nothing wrong with my coccyx but I was given manipulation and steroid injections over 2 years, the first time I was not put to sleep as they could not find a vein to put in the anaesthetic, instead they gave me gas and air, which if anyone who has had a baby will tell you it has very limited effect as in time scale, it was the most awful experience and could have easily put me off having further treatment. One year later another manipulation and injection but this time I made it clear I needed to be put to sleep as this is normal for a procedure like this (manipulation in done via the rectum and is obviously going to be very painful) The effects last around 4 months in my case and I soon realised that I couldn't go on with the pain. I was sent to see a wonderful surgeon Mr Spillsbury at the same hospital (see Doctors and specialists in the UK, West Midlands), he looked at my x rays and MRI and pointed out that there was a large bony hook on the coccyx as well as arthritis! This was a shock as I had been led to believe there was no problem, he advised surgery but explained that he had done 10 of these operations and that not all had been a success due to differing clinical diagnosis, having discussed this with him I opted for the surgery as I knew I could not cope with the pain any longer.
On June 10th 2010 I had surgery, the pain on waking from the anaesthetic was unbelievable but controlled with morphine. Mr Spillsbury came to see me to tell me that the coccyx was split in two when he came to remove it and that surgery was definitely the right move. A couple of days in hospital with lots of painkillers and I was sent home with lots of painkillers. The next 6 weeks were bad, I could only lie down or stand up, the wound was neat but oozed a lot and the summer weather did not help! A tall toilet seat adapter was a godsend believe me. I became quite unwell by the second week but this did not seem to be anything to do with the wound.
One year later and I have very little pain on sitting down, it is fantastic!!!! A long car journey can be tolerated as we drove from England to Monaco in the South of France for our wedding anniversary in May!! This is how much of a success my surgery has been.
I do have pain higher into the arch of my back and I would imagine that the arthritis is now present higher up, and I do not imagine surgery will be an option for this. Anyone who is suffering and has similar clinical problems should really consider seeing a good surgeon who has done this type of operation before. I often think back to arranging cushions on the sofa, or easing myself out of the chair or car and dreading that terrible pain, I can only say it was well worth a few months discomfort to be rid of that kind of pain.