Successful surgery

Debra Z - zussmans@verizon.net

Posted 2013-02-24

My tailbone pain story began in 2009. I am a 54 year-old female who had 3 pregnancies, (2 vaginal deliveries, 1 caesarean). I live in Delaware, about 30 miles south of Philadelphia, PA. Tailbone pain developed for no apparent reason. (I had some significant falls in 2006, 2008). Always with sitting. Burning in quality. Severe going from sitting to standing. It was a major problem. In spring 2010 I went to my family doctor. He told me I had "coccydynia" and ordered x-rays. I read Dr Patrick Foye's website (tailbonedoctor.com) (see Doctors and specialists in the USA, New Jersey) and it said to get seated x-rays, but they refused to do that here in Delaware because they didn't "know what that meant". The standing films were read as NORMAL. Got a tailbone pillow for sitting, etc. Tried osteopathic manipulation (no help) but never internal manipulation (UGH!) I decided to go to physiatrist Dr Foye in Newark, NJ (2 hour car ride). May 2010. The radiology dept. there knew exactly what to do because they deal with Dr Foye's patients all the time. The technician took me right over to look at my seated x-rays to see that my tailbone was displaced 100% with sitting!!! No wonder it hurt!!

That day, Dr Foye, who is an absolute expert at doing these injections, gave me a tailbone injection, guided by fluoroscopy. The numbness was such a relief, but wore off after a couple of hours. Then it took almost 2 weeks to feel some relief. I had 80% relief, but after a few months the pain increased again. I had a second injection in 10/2010. This time I felt the effect within a week. My pain was decreased to 10% of the original pain. Again, after a couple of months the pain returned.

In 3/2011, I went to Dr Foye for a "test injection" to see if I was a candidate for ablation. Ablation is when they try to deaden the nerves at the coccyx. It can be done with a chemical (phenol) or with radiofrequency (RFA). Dr Foye uses phenol. The test injection involves only numbing medicine. Unfortunately I have some weird anatomy and the liquid caused ascending numbness all the way up to my head (on the way home!) so no phenol for me!

I was distracted from my tailbone issues because I also have degenerative disease of my lower vertebrae. I ended up having 2-level spinal fusion with screws and rods, etc in 3/2011. After healing from that major surgery, my tailbone was, of course, still bothering me. I went to see orthopedist Dr Seth Kane (see Doctors and specialists in the USA, New Jersey). He has done several coccygectomies per year for a number of years. He said he would operate whenever I was ready. I tried one more injection at Dr Foye's in 9/2011, but I was not satisfied with the small amount of relief.

In Jan 2012 I had outpatient coxxygectomy at Hackensack Hospital with Dr Kane. It was great. (He only ended up taking out 2/3 of the coccyx). My recuperation was easy (I rode home in the car 2.5 hours to Delaware the day of surgery). I didn't even need percocet. No infection. No problems stooling. Within 1-2 weeks I was sitting on the hard floor cross-legged with no pain!!! I am so happy I had this done. Now I am a year out from the surgery and I have NO PROBLEMS in the tailbone area. Perfect.

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