Don't continue to go to the same doctors if they aren't helping you.... get second opinions

Kimberly - klynnp777@gmail.com

Posted 2011-09-18

My name is Kimberly. I am a 24 year old female. I was 23 when my tailbone injury occurred. The date that changed my life was June 15, 2010. That was the date that I got rear ended by someone going 65 mph . I had a Toyota Corolla and the person that hit me had a new jeep wrangler (the extended version with 4 doors). The jeep also had roll bars on the front. I was at a complete STOP and he hit me from behind on a busy highway. I guess he wasn't paying attention. My foot was on the brake because like I said... I was going 0 mph because there was traffic ahead and no one was moving in the left lane. My entire car was crushed. I didn't have a back seat anymore. His car had NO DAMAGE because of the roll bars in the front. Right as I got hit I felt excruciating pain. Pain in my low back and butt (at that time I didn't know it was my tailbone).

So, I got taken to the hospital that I work at in an ambulance. I got some x-rays of my lumbar spine and pelvic region. The doctor walked in and said WHY ARE YOU CRYING? I said BECAUSE MY BACK AND BUTT HURT. He said the x-rays were fine and nothing was fractured. He basically wrote me off and sent me home with NOTHING. He didn't have a good bed side manner at all. He was the worst doctor that I have ever experienced (and I work daily with doctors). I work at a hospital doing cardiac ultrasounds.

I know my body and I know my back and I knew that something was wrong. So, I decided the next day to go to my family doctor and have him order an MRI of my pelvis, lumbar spine, and sacral/coccyx region. I couldn't get in right away and had to wait 4 days to get the MRI. Then I had to wait for the results. Turned out that I had broken my coccyx in 3 different places. I had bulging discs in my lumbar spine, a right hip contusion (from my right foot being on the brake), and they are still unsure if I fractured my right hip (the x-ray was unclear). So, I went to see the chief orthopedic doctor at my hospital that I work at to get his opinion of what I should do. I SHOULD OF NEVER WASTED MY TIME WITH HIM THINKING BACK. He wrote me to be out of work for 2.5 months to let my tailbone heal-- which is the only good thing he did for me. He gave me some meds -- nothing narcotic related. Just some naproxen, ultram, and some anti-inflammatory drugs. They really didn't help. I sat on many different doughnut cushions and they didn't help either. I bought three different ones offline and they did NOTHING. I ended up making my own out of material that doesn't compress because every cushion I bought offline or in a medical supply store still put pressure on my tailbone...I needed something that lifted my butt area off the seat to relieve pressure. The cushion I made helped my pain more then any pill that I have ever taken. DRIVING/SITTING put me in excruciating pain. My fiancé at the time of the accident, now husband lived 1.5 hours from me and I dreaded the trip.

Now back to my worthless DOCTOR...Like I said he wrote me off work for 2.5 months. Something else he did was give me injections in my SI joints. Now, don't you think that a doctor knowing that I broke my tailbone would have thought to give me an injection in my tailbone? NOPE--- he didn't do that and at that time in my recovery I was still unaware that tailbone injections existed. He thought all along that my problem was my SI joints even though I BROKE MY TAILBONE. So, I went along with his advice because he was doctor that went to school for 12 years. Also, he put me in physical therapy. I did physical therapy for 6 months. I guess it helped a LITTLE. But it didn't help my tailbone. I had other muscles that were injured during the accident as well. I had a right hip contusion and some bulging discs in my lumbar spine. The physical therapy helped those issues. Also, throughout my entire recovery to this present time I go to my chiropractor WEEKLY. About 3 months after my first injection in my SI joints my doctor thought it would be a good idea to do another set of injections. The injections did help my pain in my low back a little but didn't touch my tailbone pain. At this point in my recovery I was unaware that a tailbone could cause so much pain. My mom is a nurse, I have worked in the medical field for 3.5 years now, and I have never heard of this. So, I was going along with my doctor who kept saying that my tailbone was healed (because he let me stay our of work for 2.5 months) He thought that "laying low" and sitting on a cushion should heal the bone. He was very adamant that my pain was from my SI joints. Even though every visit with him I would describe the pain to be in my butt crack/butt hole area...but deeper.

Finally, I decided to branch out of my own and explore other options. I decided to try massages and acupuncture. Acupuncture didn't help. The massages helped the other muscles in my back but once again, NOT THE TAILBONE AREA. I bought an electric stimulator. That didn't help. At this point in my recovery I had spent so much money on co-pays, different meds that didn't help, physical therapy co-pays, acupuncture which isn't covered under my insurance, chiropractor co-pays, coccyx cushions, si joint belts, massages which aren't covered.....and I was really at a low point in my life because I felt as though I was NEVER going to get out of pain. The pain was starting to affect my social life, my sex life, my work, and my attitude about life. I felt like I couldn't do my job because I did a lot of sitting for long periods of time. I do ultrasounds, which I mentioned above and one ultrasound can last up to 1 hour. So, that is one hour that I had to stay seated. I had to move patients that were heavy, move stretchers, and was constantly bending. Me working was really starting to aggravate my tailbone pain. I needed to do something.

I decided to go to a pain management doctor. I LOVE MY PAIN MANAGEMENT DR....HE MADE ME FEEL LIKE A REAL PERSON AGAIN. AND HE REALLY SIDED WITH ME AND BELIEVED ME ABOUT MY PAIN. HE WAS GENUINELY CONCERNED FOR ME. It really gave me a boost when I met my pain management doctor and he said that he thought that he could help me. All other doctors that I went to just wanted me to go on narcotics or other drugs. I felt like I was just a number--they didn't even really care about my story...they just wanted my money and wanted me out of their office. Sometimes I felt like doctors just thought I wanted narcotics or something crazy like that. Which that was the last thing I wanted. I wanted to be pain free. Did they really think that a 23 year old wanted to go to millions of doctor appointments and sacrifice her social life???? I just wanted someone to believe I was in pain and my pain was REAL…not something I was making up in my MIND. I have the best husband who was there for me every step of the way and still is. I have the best mother who has always believed me and was by my side through all of this. I went to a slew of doctors from orthopedics, pain mgmt, rheumatologists, etc just to get answers so when my current pain mgmt doctor said that he could help me I WAS EXCITED. At this point in my recovery I still was unaware that all my pain was coming from my tailbone region. Like I said before all the other doctors thought that my problem was my SI joints or something else that they weren't able to figure out. I got all my records for my pain management doctor and he suggested that I get an injection in my tailbone because that is the bone that I broke IN THE FIRST PLACE. This injection is a liquid that has a steroid in it and some numbing meds like lidocane. They inject the solution into the ligament of the tailbone. This was the first time that I have ever heard of such a thing. The injection was the same procedure as the si joint injection. They sterilize the area and use a CT guided injection and inject the tailbone ligament. They did the same thing with the si joint injection, except that in was in my si joint region. So I got my first tailbone injection in March of 2011 (10 months after my accident). I HAD BEEN DEALING WITH THIS PAIN FOR TEN FREAKING MONTHS ALREADY. AT LAST.................I WAS PAIN FREE 2 DAYS AFTER THE INJECTION. I FELT LIKE A NEW PERSON AGAIN!!!!!!!! My pain management doctor said that this was a great sign because now we have figured out the source of my pain. The relief from the pain from the injection lasted about 6 weeks. Then the pain started to come back. This is normal for these injections... they can help someone's pain for just a few hours or up to 1 yr. As soon as my pain started coming back again I called my doctor and he set me up for a second tailbone injection. It worked again but then my pain came back a few weeks later

At this point he really thought that I wasn't going to be pain free unless I got my tailbone removed. He said I tried all the treatments possible...injections, time off from work, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, electric stim, ice, heat, drugs, si joint belt, etc. He referred me to a doctor at the hospital I work at to do the surgery. I didn't want to let him perform the surgery… I wanted to go to a specialist and that is when I came across this website. THANK YOU JON!!! I did the majority of my research on this website and looked at the pros/cons of the surgery, the healing time, the risks, the different ways of doing the surgery, and long term affects, etc. I decided to go to see doctor SETH OWEN KANE (see Doctors and specialists in the USA, New Jersey). My first appointment with him was on June 20, 2011. DR KANE also is very genuine and is a great doctor. He examined me and looked at my previous MRI's and thought I was a good candidate for surgery. He did a rectal exam on me. Basically, a rectal exam a doctor puts their fingers up a patient's butt hole to see if the tailbone moves. Dr Kane did a rectal and held onto my tailbone and tried to move it back and fourth. My tailbone moved at least 30 degrees and possibly even 40 degrees. He said this was abnormal and was why I was in so much pain. Because my tailbone was not healed despite what my first orthopedic doctor said. My tailbone was "mobile" and moved so when I sit it bends which explains why I am in SO MUCH PAIN even though all my x-rays, bone scans, and MRI's were "normal" in other doctors eyes. I decided to get the surgery (removal of the tailbone) after summer…but then I had another setback.

The end of July of 2011 I started to have increased pain. This pain was not tailbone pain. This pain was the worst pain I have ever experienced even over tailbone pain. I couldn't do ANYTHING. I could barely even walk. My tailbone pain had never affected my walking so I KNEW this wasn't tailbone pain. Once again, I know my body and I KNEW something was wrong. I am against narcotics but I actually called my PAIN MGMT doctor and asked him if he could write me a script for vicodin. I went to see him in his office and he observed how much pain I was in and wrote me for some vicodin and flexerol. That took the edge off but I was still having insane pain! I called him again and asked if he could write for me to get a repeat MRI again of my sacral coccyx area because I felt like this pain was above my tailbone in my sacral region. So, my doctor agreed and I got the MRI. Turned out I had stress fractures in my sacrum. They were new fractures because I had marrow edema...meaning that the fractures were acute. These fractures didn't occur at the time of my accident, they are secondary to my accident. My car accident made my pelvis unstable so when I walked instead of my pelvis absorbing the pressure my sacrum did. So, my sacrum fractured. I am not allowed to work for at least 4 months so the fractures can heal. My first day out of work Aug 1, 2011. I have an appt with Dr Kane on August 31 to talk about my sacral fractures and get his opinion. There is a question about whether I should get sacroplasty or not. Sacroplasty is when they inject cement into your fractures so they heal faster. I really don't want to do that. I just want to let my fractures heal on their own…the natural way. I spoke to Dr Kane's receptionist and she said I would have to wait for my sacral fractures to heal until I could get the tailbone surgery. I was planning on doing that anyway. I would NEVER want to get surgery on my tailbone when I know that my sacrum is fractured. SO...right now, I am waiting to go to my second appt with doctor Kane on August 31. I know he is going to want me to wait to schedule surgery for a few months so my fractures can heal. I am estimating that I will schedule surgery for the beginning of January 2012. Once I see doctor Kane on Aug 31 and schedule my surgery I will update.

I am now 14 months from when my injury occurred and still in pain. It is just a waiting game now for me. I feel lucky that I have only dealt with this for 14 months. I also feel lucky to still be alive...the accident could of been much worse. Some people on this website are in pain for years. The reason it has only been 15 months for me is because I was aggressive about finding what exactly was wrong. I didn't let doctors run all over me and I got second opinions. If there is one thing I learned it is to TRUST your body. Your body and brain and very smart and only YOU can tell if something is WRONG. Don't continue to go to the same doctors if they aren't helping you.... get second opinions and try different treatments!!! Maybe something will work for you so you won't need to get surgery. I know how depressing coccyx pain can be...I try not to let it totally consume my life. It does effect my life in MANY WAYS...I am not active anymore, I cant go to the movies or drive long distances, I am always in pain. I am just trying to keep my head up and push through these next few months until I can get the surgery. I just thank God that I have a supportive family and a husband that helps me with EVERYTHING.

If anyone has any questions please email me. klynnp777@gmail.com Good luck and God bless!

Update, 2011-12-04

I went to doctor Kane for my follow up appointment and he does not want me to get the sacralplasty. Thank God! I am going to go ahead with the coccyxgectomy. My surgery is December 14, 2011. I am nervous, scared, anxious and excited all at once. Excited that if all goes well I could lead a pain free life after the recovery and anxious, scared, and nervous just because of the complications and of surgery itself. Hoping it all goes well and I will update after surgery with how everything went.

Update, 2011-12-16

Today is Dec 16 - I got my surgery December 14, 2011. It was done at Hackensack University Medical Center which is the hospital that Dr. Kane operates out of. It is the nicest hospital I have EVER been too. It reminds me of Harrahs in Atlantic City if anyone has ever been at the pool with all the palm trees. The give you nice gowns-not normal hospital gowns. The staff is very nice too. The ride home from my surgery took me 4 hours with traffic...Thank God I was laying down in the back of an SUV with an air mattress in the back so I was fine. I would recommend that everyone lay down for the ride home post surgery. Today is Decemeber 16, 2011...THREE days after my surgery. From what other people have said I was expecting to be in excruciating pain and I'm not. I have pain and that is expected. I like standing the best. I cant sit or bend. Going up stairs is hard too. I bought a massage table before my surgery so I could lay face down and sleep because I heard that sleeping on your back is a NO NO and sleeping on your side is uncomfortable too. I am so glad I bought the massage table. I bought it brand new from Ebay for $110 which included shipping. Totally worth it! I put my face through the face hole and put my ipad on the ground and watch movies. I also sleep on the massage table face down. Sometimes I sleep on my side with a pillow between my legs. It works well. Also, I use a bag of frozen peas on my butt. I have one in the fridge and one on my incision. The peas are light so they dont put pressure on the incision...Ice really helps. Another thing I bought was wipes...to keep myself extra clean to prevent infection. Tomorrow I get to shower and change my dressing. I still cant sit and my butt is tender. I am getting my stitches out December 28. I will update again in a little.

3 days after surgery

Update, 2011-12-18

Today is December 17, 2011. I am 4 days post op. The pictures that are attached to this update are of my incision 4 days post op this morning when I took a shower and changed my dressing. I think my incision looks great compared to some peoples that I have seen. After the shower, I had to put a new dressing over the incision to keep it clean. I had my mom do it...you cannot do this on your own.

Like I posted in my previous update, I would recommend getting baby wipes to keep all areas extra clean! I stopped taking my pain meds yesterday which was 3 days post op. I have just been using ice. I do feel like re-dressing my incision and taking a shower and cleaning that area has aggravated my pain a little ... but not much. It is tolerable.

My main problem was constipation. I tried everything to make me go...coffee, suppository, drinking ample amounts of water, miralax, etc... NOTHING WORKED except a little trick my cousin told me. Get 32 oz of warm water and 2 TABLESPOONS of SEA SALT. Not regular table salt or iodized salt...it has to be SEA SALT. You can get it in the grocery store. Mix the salt and water together and drink all 32oz. You will go to the bathroom within 30-120 minutes. Its going to be salty but it worked for me. GOOGLE it...IT REALLY WORKS AND ITS NATURAL. I was so bloated from the constipation and had gained 9lbs and looked like I was 5 months pregnant.

I still have pain in my butt area and I walk funny but like I said...it is tolerable. I have not tried to sit and I am not going to for a while. I know when my body will be ready. I am swollen. Going up steps still hurts and I try to do that as least as possible but it is hard when my bedroom is on the second floor. Getting up and down from my massage table (which I explained in my previous update I bought so I can lay face down and still breathe) hurts but I can't just lay all day. I cannot bend. I am trying to keep mobile so my muscles don't get even more weak.

Even though I am only 4 days post op I am SO GLAD I got the surgery done. I did my research on my doctor and he was great. I spoke with the nurse in recovery and she said Dr. Kane is world renowned for this type of surgery and it shows...I HAVE NO POST OP BRUISING like other peoples pictures on this site. I saw one persons pictures and my incision 4 days post op looked better then her 4 week post op picture.

I will update again in a little. I am hoping that I can get to the 21 day mark without and infection. According to my doctor an infection will present itself between 7-21 days. After 21 days, your incision can't really get infected anymore because it should be closed. Another thing I did to prevent infection was I went and got a Brazilian bikini wax. Which means they wax your front (vagina) and back (butt crack/butt hole area). It has helped in keeping it clean and my doctor said so too. If you don't want to go to a salon and get it done you can shave your front and back yourself. Male and females will both benefit from this.

Please email me if anyone has concerns or questions. I have gotten a lot of emails so far and I am hoping to help people by posting my pictures and updating. Stay well and God bless!

4 days after surgery 4 days after surgery

Update, 2012-01-01

Dec 20, 2011 – 6 days post op. Today I had my first bowel movement that was natural and did not occur from miralax, coffee, or the salt-water solution that I described above. So, that was positive. I have not taken any pain meds for the past three days but today I had to take two percocets. Today was the day that I experienced the most pain since the first day of my surgery. I was getting a little discouraged because I tried to sit and I couldn't AT ALL…not even for 5 seconds. I feel as though I am not in as much pain when I have a dressing on…so I put another dressing on even after the 3 day dressing requirements and then the 2 day one. My mom works for a doctor so she was able to get me some extra tegaderms (the sticky plastic that covers the incision) so I can put as many dressings on as I want. I think it helps because I feel like it restricts my movement so my butt cheeks don't move as much which results in my incision not being stretched as much which results in less pain.

6 days post op laying on massage table face down frozen peas on incision

Dec 22, 2011 – 8 days post op. Yesterday (post op day 7), coincidentally was my BEST day so far. Even though post op day 6 was the worst. I think it may have to do with me putting my bandage back on. When the bandage (tegaderm, which is the plastic that covers the gauze) is on I feel more support and I feel as though my incision can't stretch so it doesn't hurt as much. ASK YOUR DOCTOR FOR A LOT OF TEGADERMS!!!! I had many accomplishments yesterday…I was able to sit on my homemade cushion (which has been a God send for me during the whole process) for a few minutes at a time. I definitely could not sit yet without the cushion. I shaved my legs for the first time within a week! I had another regular bowel movement…so I think I'm finally done being constipated and I didn't use pain meds yesterday. I am 5'8" and on the day of surgery I weighed 131lbs…I weighed myself today and I am 131.5 lbs. In my previous update I wrote that I had weighed myself on post op day 4 and had gained 9 lbs (the scale read 140lbs)…which I did and I think it was because of the constipation issues and swelling. I am happy to report I have lost 8.5 of the 9lbs!

Dec 24, 2011 – 10 days post op! Merry Christmas Eve! Today I went out to brunch and actually sat for a little WITHOUT my cushion. It was only for 1 minute at a time but still an improvement from not being able to sit at all without the cushion. I sat for a minute, got up and stood for a minute and kept rotating. So, I am getting there. I am able to bend a little more and do some more things that make me feel like a real human again – like paint my nails I am finally able to lay on my back for a little … but I have to have my knees bent and I have to squeeze my butt muscles so there is not a lot of pressure is on my low back and butt. I have stopped using the bandages and I am letting the incision open to the air to heal. The tegaderms actually started to irritate my incision and skin.

Dec 26, 2011- 12 days post op. I have stopped sitting without my cushion. I think it is doing me more harm then good. I can sit WITH my cushion for about 1-2 minutes then I have to get up and walk around. I still have muscle pain in my coccyx region and that is expected. It aches and sometimes there is pain. I have to change positions often. I have been showering 2-3 times daily to clean my incision in hopes that I don't get an infection. The soap that I use is a hand soap. It is called DIAL…it is an antibacterial so it kills germs. I did not want to use the normal body wash/bar soap I use for the sole fact that I thought the fragrances would irritate things and its not an antibacterial soap. I think dial is a more gentle then other soaps…I had no itching or burning while using DIAL. I really have nothing new to report. Below is a picture of my incision 12 days post op. I know the picture shows that the skin is red around the stitches but that is just NEW skin that is growing. Will update again once I get stitches removed on Dec 28, 2011.

12 days post op

12 days post op

Dec 28, 2011 – 14 days post op. Today was definitely my best day so far! Today I went to see Dr. Kane for my 2 week post surgery follow up appointment to get my stitches taken out. I laid down in the back of an SUV for the ride with a little air mattress. It is quite comfortable. I did the same thing for the day of my surgery. I live 2.25 hours away from Dr. Kane's office and the day of my surgery it took us 4 hours to get home because of traffic….gotta love the NJ/NYC traffic!!!!! I still cant sit comfortably without a cushion but Dr. Kane said that I am doing great and that the incision looks fine and he was surprised that I can do so much with little pain. I can walk normally. I can bend now. I can get up from laying to standing with no problem really. I can sleep fine without waking up from pain and I can lay on my back for short periods of time. My upper back and neck are hurting I think from just all the odd positions I have been putting myself in to avoid sitting or laying on my back for long periods of time. I went to my chiropractor yesterday and she fixed me up and put me back into alignment. Dr. Kane also told me that he had to take out part of my sacrum during surgery because it was also mobile and was part of the reason why I had so much pain. I was in the operating room for about 2 hours instead of the normal 1-hour for just the coccyx removal. So basically, I had a double surgery. I sat with my cushion today for about 15 minutes. My incision has never had any drainage and he said that that is a really good sign that I won't get an infection. Dr. Kane said once I hit the 21 day mark I should not worry about getting an infection anymore…so that is in 7 days. I am off pain meds and have been off them for awhile (refer to previous posts) and I stopped taking advil a few days ago. He said I should expect to fully heal in 4-6 months…but I should be able sit comfortably WITHOUT a cushion in 6 more weeks (8 weeks post op). I will update again soon. Below is a picture of my incision 14 days post op right after I got the stitches taken out. It does look a little red but Dr. Kane said that is fine … that it is just NEW skin growing and the incision closing together and healing. After the stitches were removed I felt even better because I felt as though the stitches were "pulling" and causing some discomfort whenever I moved. As you can see in the photo below it does look like my incision is open and it is. I have internal stitches that are keeping it closed on the inside. Just the outer layer of skin is still open. And will close with time. This is part of the healing process according to Dr. Kane and I have nothing to worry about. He said that there is no way that a 1-2 inch deep incision is going to close in 2 weeks fully.

14 days post op

14 days post op

Update, 2012-01-08

Jan 1, 2012 – 18 days post op - Well in the previous picture you can see that my incision is not fully closed. And it is opening even more. The picture below is of my incision 18 days post op. The incision split open even after my stitches were removed. Everything I do is uncomfortable. When I go to the bathroom and sit down it pulls on the incision and I feel like it is pulling open even more. When I get up it hurts too. I can’t even try to sit on my cushion let alone without the cushion because it pulls and then it BURNS! I tried to call Dr. Kane today and his office was not in because of the holiday. I left a message with his answering service and he called me back in about an hour. He said that I should put Bacitraycin ointment on the incision and put sterile gauze over it along with another tegaderm over it for a few days and see if it closes. If it doesn’t, he wants to see me in his office. Still washing daily to prevent infection.

18 days post op

January 4, 2012 – 21 days post op – Still changing my bandage every day because my incision still isn’t closed but it is getting there…it looks as if the opening is getting smaller. Going to do this for a few more days and hope that it closes and the pain goes away and I can actually try and sit….below is a picture of my incision 21 days post op. There is really nothing else new for me to report.

21 days post op

January 6, 2012 – 23 days post op – Still changing my bandage and putting the ointment on daily. My incision is starting to FINALLY close and scab which is a good thing. It is not 100% closed but it is better then 2 days ago when I updated last. I still can’t really sit because it hurts because my incision is still somewhat open. I will start to sit once it is fully closed because I don’t want to sit and have the sitting pull the incision open more…because I do feel like when I sit it pulls my butt cheeks apart and pulls on the incision. The picture below is of my incision 23 days post op.

23 days post op

Update, 2012-01-15

Jan 8, 2012 – 25 days post op. Incision still healing. I have stopped putting the bandages on. I am just putting the ointment on and letting the air heal it. Still painful to sit. I am trying to sit one minute per hour to try and get my body used to the sitting position again even though it pains me to do so. You can see that my incision is closing…there is a thin layer of skin over it and only in the one spot is it still open. The picture below is of my incision 25 days post op.

25 days post op

Jan 9, 2012 – 26 days post op – WELL…still in pain. Getting a little discouraged…thought that I would be farther along then this at almost 30 days post op. I can only sit for about 1-2 minutes without a cushion and then I have to get up because of the pain. This really stinks. I’m so tired of being in pain. I feel like my pain didn’t set in till later in my recovery …muscular pain and bone pain. I can barely sit back on my sacrum or it KILLS which is why I can only sit for 1-2 minutes. My gluteus muscles all feel like they are bruised. My incision is still painful too. When will this stop? I was anticipating on going back to work in March – 2.5 months after surgery but at this rate I have no idea when I’ll be able to return because I sit at my job.

Jan 14, 2012 – 4 weeks post op – Feeling a bit better. I am able to sit for a little longer…just very uncomfortable. I still feel like my muscles are really bruised and I am tender to the touch on my behind. I can bend a little easier get around a little better. I have a follow up appt with Dr. Kane February 1, 2012. I think he is going to want me to do some physical therapy. I am hoping that I can do aquatic therapy because I realize when I get out of a bath my muscles feel A LOT better. Maybe water therapy will be less strenuous on my muscles in the beginning then regular PT? I just took a bath two days ago because that is when my incision FINALLY closed…but not fully “filled in”. I AM PAST THE POINT OF INFECTION…YAY! Below is a picture of my incision 4 weeks post op.

4 weeks post op

Update, 2012-07-08

Jan 19, 2012 – 5 weeks and 1 day post op – Well today I had a dentist appointment… that was a treat. I had to lay sideways to get my teeth cleaned because I still can't lay flat on my back for long periods. Yesterday, I drove for the first time to the bank which is 5 min away from my house so it is not a long trip. Yesterday, I also had a hair appointment. I was originally going to just get my hair cut cause I felt as though I couldn't sit long enough for the color. But, I ended up getting color anyway and stood for the majority of the time because the hair dresser chairs REALLY HURT my back. I like harder chairs better then softer chairs. I feel like I have hit a plateau in my recovery. I am not getting any better or any worse.

January 22, 2012 – 40 days post op – I am able to sit for meals in wooden chairs. I can't sit in soft chairs. The seats in my car hurt me more then wooden seats at my kitchen table … GO FIGURE. I sort of feel like my old pain is still there when I sit for too long. I can't really tell though yet because before my surgery my pain would only get really bad if I sat too long and I am not able to sit long to see if my pain is still there… only time will tell. I can only sit for about 10 minutes in the wooden chairs… no longer or it hurts to much. I feel immense pressure when I sit too long.

February 18, 2012 – 9 weeks and 3 days post op - Can sit for about 30-45 minutes now WITHOUT PAIN. Sometimes, I still get my old pain but not as frequent now… THANK GOD! If I'm doing something that requires sitting for a lot of the day then I'm in more pain. But overall I think my pain has significantly decreased since surgery. Traveling long distances is still hard for me because we normally take my husband's car and his car seats and my coccyx region really don't mix well. His seats are softer and they slope back which puts more of my weight on my coccyx region. I do see a correlation between the seat that I'm sitting in and whether or not I feel pain. I like hard seats. They give more support and I sit longer. Soft seats (booths at restaurants, couches) are not good for me. If I stay away from them I'm pretty good. I would say my pain has decreased about 60-70% so far and I expect it to decrease even more once I'm completely done healing. My butt still feels sore and so does my sacrum. I am going to see Dr. Kane in 4 days and I'm hoping that he will let me go back to work on February 27th. That would mean that it took me about 11 weeks to feel like I could work again. I see some people on here go back to work after 4 weeks and some people it takes 6 months so I think I'm right in the middle. My surgeon and I attribute my successful and mostly painless recovery to mainly my postural alignment specialist (sort of like a physical therapist but better!) who has a clinic in NYC but see people all over to world through SKYPE. He really helped me with my coccyx pain and helped me do exercises before surgery to make my recovery faster/better and is helping me with exercises post surgery as well…sort of like a physical therapy. His name is Robin Galaskewicz(see Doctors and specialists in the USA, New York). He is AMAZING!!! He does a free consult too so you can get to know him and get to know the specific method that he practices and see if its for you. I will update once I see doctor Kane in 4 days!! I would recommend anyone to Robin that has back pain and/or coccyx pain. After my accident I had 5 bulging discs and after about 6 months of exercises with Robin, my discs were back to normal which is unheard of. Normally, the discs bulge more and turn into herniated discs. Robin has also helped me with my scoliosis which I don't know if I mentioned that I even had. I have moderate to severe scoliosis and my hip is twisted and tilted. He definitely decreased the tilt in my hip and the curvature in my spine…. hopefully the curve will continue to decrease! And I feel so much better after doing Robin's exercises it … it is pretty much instantaneous that I feel results.

February 22, 2012 – 10 weeks post op – Today I went to see Dr. Kane. For the past three days I have been trying to exercise more. I have been walking/jogging about a mile and a half daily. And now, I have increased pain! Dr. Kane said I should of never started jogging… that was a NO NO. I have gained 10 lbs since surgery because of how sedentary I was. I am trying to start being more active to try to get some of the weight off but my body isn't responding… maybe its too soon. My chiropractor says that I should not jog because it puts an increased demand on my sacral/coccyx region, which causes inflammation, which results in pain. I read one story on here where a male had a coccyx injury and post surgery he started running and he had a relapse of his pain. I do not want that to happen to me!!!!! So, for the next few days I am going to try to lay low and baby my sacral/coccyx region and ice ice ice and advil. I love ICE. It numbs my pain. My pain isn't a TERRIBLE pain… it is just there… it is a weird, lingering, pain that aches. I have had these spurts in my recovery… for one week I will feel amazing and then for 3-4 days I will have pain. I am hoping that is just ALLL apart of the healing process. We will see. Dr. Kane agrees that it was too soon to jog and I should stop all activity for the next 2 months to ensure that my body heals itself. I have an appointment with him in 6 weeks. Will update then!

March 14 2012 – Exactly 3 months post op – I feel AMAZING. I started a new job on March 5th which means I had to sit through those all day orientations. I did not have ANY coccyx pain what so ever. I had some pain where my incision is but higher up which is just the muscles healing. I would say this surgery has decreased my pain by 90% and that I am 90% healed. I still have some pain and that is because I still need to heal. The orientations I sat through were 7-9 hours and I made it through them! That is a huge step for me… before sitting 15-20 minutes would aggravate my pain and I would have to stand and stretch and then ice. I would recommend this surgery to ANYONE who is suffering from the debilitating, life altering, tailbone pain. I continue to work with my postural alignment specialist who really helps me! His exercises strengthen the muscles that are weak and muscles that were weakened because of the surgery. He helped me strengthen the muscles that would be come weak from the surgery so my recovery would be easier and faster… and it REALLY did help! I have an appointment with Dr. Kane April 4th and I will update again.

April 4 2012 – About 4 months post op – Dr. Kane discharged me and said I am doing fantastic.

July 2, 2012 – 172 days post OP (6 MONTHS POST OP) The "muscle" pain from the surgery is almost all gone. I would say about 95% gone. I do, however, have my original pain still sometimes BUT I would still consider my surgery a success and I would still recommend it to anyone. Before surgery my pain would almost start almost immediately after sitting….Now, it occurs after about 3 hours of sitting. The pain is less frequent and less excruciating. I am so glad I had the surgery! I continue to see my postural alignment specialist (through skype) and get new routines monthly. I do the routine he gives me 5x a week, Monday through Friday. I am really dedicated to it because I feel the results and I believe in it. Robin has not only helped me with my coccyx pain but also helped me with back pain that is unrelated to my coccyx injury (scoliosis). I would recommend him 20 times over to anyone. I have recommended him to numerous people (people that I know personally and people that I have met through coccy.org) and NO ONE has been disappointed. He has helped me and every single person I referred to him. Like I said in my previous post, he does a free consultation to educate you on his method and see if what he practices is for you….If not, you go on your merry way. If so, I promise he will be a lifelong help. You can email him at robingalaskewicz@yahoo.com . I went to Vegas the end of May – THE PLANE RIDE WAS NO PROBLEM AT ALL(4.5 hour flight) I AM GOING TO HAWAII IN OCTOBER (12 hr flight). I joined a gym about a month ago – I walk/jog (mostly power walk, because I am still scared to jog) 2 miles daily. I lost the 10 pounds I gained. My husband and I drive one hour to the Jersey shore mostly every weekend. We go to Atlantic City and go to shows and go out to eat – I can finally sit during a show or a meal without having to constantly fidget and without feeling really uncomfortable. I am back to work and have no problem doing my job. I FINALLY AM GETTING MY LIFE BACK THAT I LOST BACK IN June of 2010…just in time for my 25th birthday! It took two years but it could have been worse/longer if I never connected with Dr. Kane or Robin and if I didn't have such a supportive family. I am hoping that my pain (even though it is infrequent still decreases over the next 6 months) . I will update again soon. Please feel free to email me with questions

"Out of darkness comes light".

Update, 2012-08-26

(About 6.5 months post op) - In my previous post I talked about still having some of the pain I felt before surgery...that pain is getting less and less now, even on soft chairs. I rarely have pain anymore..I would say I am now about 97% pain free which I am very happy about! Some days my tailbone does bother me even when I don't sit or anything but I have noticed it has to do with the weather..if it is damp/rainy out it acts up. I have been jogging/power walking a lot lately and my tailbone still doesn't seem to bother me...YAY! I continue to do my egoscue 5 days a week. It really helps me.

I did go on vacation to Cape May (beach town) at the end of July and tried to ride a bike around the town with my husband. That was a NO NO...sitting the way you have to sit on a bike and putting pressure down on the pedals (which I think made me push my butt down harder on the seat) really aggravated my pain. Within a day though, I was back to feeling the way I normally feel. So, I would not suggest riding a bike post surgery...Which doesn't really bother me because I rarely ride a bike...I would rather walk or job for exercise anyway.

Will update again soon...hoepfully, I will be able to say that I am 100% pain free but I am okay with being only 97% pain free. I think there will always be some residual pain no matter what though, so I don't know if anyone ever says they are 100% pain free after surgery. I never thought at the start of this roller-coaster that I would ever be able to say that I am 97% pain free!!!!!! I can drive, fly, and work all without pain....its amazing!

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