Scheduled for surgery 22 February 2011

Zoe - zoewalton83@hotmail.com

Posted 2011-02-20

I am a 27 year old woman living in England. Problems with my coccyx began following an operation to remove a pilonidal sinus in December 2009. I had that done as day surgery and although the wound was stitched, I managed to pop the stitches a couple of days after, so it didn't start healing for two weeks. I was back to work exactly 4 weeks after the operation and immediately started feeling pain in my coccyx whilst sitting and chronic pain when moving from sitting to standing. I work as an ambulance dispatcher which means sitting down for 99% of my 12 hour shift. The pain was so severe so on 24th February I returned to my surgeon thinking it was a problem with the scar however after an examination he diagnosed me with coccydynia and as this wasn't his speciality, referred me back to my GP.

The GP agreed with the diagnosis and prescribed me a one month course of ibuprofen which unfortunately didn't get any better. As I had been off work again, my employers referred me to occupational health whilst I waited for my appointment with the orthopaedic team at my local hospital. The occupational health department advised changing my shifts to eight hours rather than 12 may help. This made it even worse as I was in work 5-6 days at a time with no time off to really rest. I eventually got my appointment with orthopaedics in June 2010. I was seen by a physiotherapist who checked my spine and ordered an MRI scan. At my follow up in July 2010 I was told in no uncertain terms that there was nothing wrong with me which of course was not true.

I requested a 2nd opinion at a different health trust and saw Mr Nallapuneni at Westmorland General Hospital (see Doctors and specialists in the UK, Cumbria) in November 2010 who, after an examination did indeed diagnose coccydynia and immediately ordered cortisone injections and x-rays to check there were no fractures that had been missed on the MRI. I went for the injections and had 3 in total and went home an hour later. I was in severe pain for over a week but it did ease a little eventually. I returned for a follow up with him on 22nd December by this point the pain was as bad as its ever been so I have now been booked in for a coccygectomy on 22nd February. The consultant said as the injections did slightly ease the pain it is a good sign the coccygectomy will work. I am also suffering a lot of lower back and hip pains so I am hoping that once I've had the operation these will subside. I will hopefully update this as I start to improve. If anybody would like to email me with any questions/information regarding recovery after surgery that would be fine.

Zoe

Update, 2011-02-27

25th February 2011 - I am now 3 days post op and have today been discharged from hospital. I had the operation on Tuesday 22nd as planned and so far, so good. I had a bad reaction to morphine so was very unwell on the Tuesday day and night but started feeling better on Wednesday. I was allowed up out of bed to walk around from Wednesday and was able to sit for a short period of time using a doughnut cushion from yesterday (Thursday). As a precaution I was given lots of intravenous antibiotics and also a course of oral antibiotics and although I am suffering the side effects of these at least it will only last for a few more days!

The pain is a lot better than I thought it would be, I was taking paracetamol, codeine, ibuprofen and tramadol in hospital however I've only taken the paracetamol since coming home.

I had a drain in the wound which was removed today as well so I have very minimal bruising. I can't see the scar but apparently its very neat and healing well. The mri scan and x-rays didn't show anything wrong with my coccyx however the surgeon said there was a lot of movement in it and it was no surprise I was suffering so badly.

I have a follow up appointment with the surgeon next week, hopefully I will know more about how long its expected to take to heal etc.

I am so glad I've had the operation because I finally feel I'm going to get my life back.... everything seems to have been put on hold whilst I've been suffering with this.

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