Tailbone always stuck out

Jaime - jaimemayberry@yahoo.com

Posted 2012-06-03

Ever since I can remember, my tail bone has stuck out. It was never painful by itself, but I remember as a child, being sore after I hit it on things. Because it stuck out, I could not lay on my back, and it would jab into seats that I sat in. In addition, sitting on soft furniture would cause a burning, stabbing pain, from which I was unsure the origin. I found out later my tailbone was angulated and the last joints would rise into my pelvic cavity when I sat, causing pain and inflammation.

Twice, at age 9 and at age 22, I remember landing on it quite hard and having a hard time walking, going up stairs, and I was unable to bend over or sit down. After the accident when I was 22, I was unable to sit without pain. It has been 6 years since then and I was still in pain, which was increasing. I went to an orthopedic surgeon and he took x-rays, then jabbed me in the tail bone and told me it only hurt because I needed to gain weight (mind you, I was at a very healthy weight at the time). I went to a special pain doctor and he told me I had pain because I had bad posture. He gave me a cortisone injection which helped with the swelling and burning pain, but I still had the pain from my tailbone sticking out and each injection only gave temporary relief. I had 4 injections in one year and the pain was getting worse. That is when I saw Dr. Ed Hanley (see Doctors and specialists in the USA, North Carolina).

He had x-rays taken and did a quick physical exam and explained that my tail bone was angulated (which I knew) and that he could do surgery. He told me that there was abnormal mobility in the lower joints that was causing pain and inflammation. I agreed, but asked him to please take off the part that was sticking out (which was more proximal than the mobile joints he planned to remove). He resisted. On the day of surgery, I urged him to take it out because it was such a very sensitive area, and was causing me pain, and even getting in the way. I couldn't lay on my back because of it and it stuck into the chair when I sat. When I woke up from surgery, I was told that he did remove the part that stuck out as well as the mobile part. He had to take out the part that stuck out because it consisted of two bones, jammed together, one bone hanging over the other, and jutting out into my skin. This must have been a result of one of my accidents.

It has been 7 days since my coccygectomy and I no longer have bones sticking out of my coccyx. I am feeling surgery pain, but the pain from before is gone. I am happy and very thankful to Dr. Hanley for taking on my case. I am so glad that I went through the surgery and even wish that I had done it sooner.

Update, 2012-06-24

It has now been 3 1/2 weeks since my surgery and I am feeling great. I did have an infection at week two with drainage and inflammation. I cleaned the outside of the incision with alcohol wipes, replaced the bandage, and refilled my antibiotics. The infection was under control after a day or two, which coincided with the day I got my sutures removed (which was the most painful part of this whole experience - probably due to the infection). I waited three weeks to get them removed. The doctor said 2-4 weeks, and I am glad I waited. The area takes a long time to heal due to poor blood supply.

The hospital quoted me $1700 for the surgery, and I have not yet received a bill. It is hard to say what the official amount will be. My insurance claim shows that the original surgery was $20,000, but was discounted to $8,000 by my insurance company. I've met my deductible already, so most of that is covered by insurance, hence the $1700 quote. Hope that helps anyone that has concerns about the cost.

I walked with five miles yesterday and am a little sore today around my sacrum. I tried jogging but found out pretty quick I wasn't ready for that yet! Felt like all of the sudden my sacrum weighed 200 pounds, lots of pressure. Bad idea.

I am just now beginning to sit for the first time and feel minimal pain. The minimal pain feels like same inflammation and soreness from surgery that has diminished day by day since my surgery. I can lay on my back for a couple of minutes but it becomes painful after that. I woke up on my back last night in intense pain, so I must have accidentally rolled over and slept that way for quite some time. I expect that the pain will be completely gone after a couple of months. I am very glad that I did the surgery!

More updates to come!

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