Coccygectomy

Gill, Australia

Posted 2014-01-26

In December 2013 I sat on a stool that collapsed, spearing me vertically onto a concrete floor. The outcome was a coccyx dislocated, sitting at a ninety degree angle, and moving another twenty one degrees in when I sat down. As time wore on pain was being transmitted down my left leg from the base of the sacrum.

With a good GP I went through the processes: passive treatment for the first six weeks to see if it settled, anti inflammatories, massage and exercise, acupuncture.. all to no avail.

The pain wasn't so much from sitting as from a constant grinding somewhere inside where I imagined the tip of the thing to be. I had bowel pain and poor pelvic control and none of it would go away. After a while the inflammatories caused my blood pressure to rise, so taking them regularly was out. We then tried cortisone - it helped, but wore off.

I live 300 kms from Sydney and there are no specialist physios here who can do internal manipulation s, but my local physio referred me to AJ Physio at Bondi Junction (see Doctors and specialists in Australia, New South Wales) where I had four or five manipulations. While the coccyx would move, and this gave relief, it just flicked back to its outrageous position, so the next step was a neurosurgeon.... not an orthopaedic surgeon. Angie, the A in AJ's, is an expert in this field, and used all her skills to make it behave, and to relieve the pain cycle. This manipulation works for many, and I suspect that a younger person than I would have a better result.

Again, no one locally would touch coccyx injury. A web search found a reference to Dr Richard Parkinson at the St Vincent's Private Clinic in Darlinghurst (see Doctors and specialists in Australia, New South Wales). My GP did a bit of investigating and I made the appointment.

Dr Parkinson's first step was a full range of images of the coccyx, the pelvic area and the left hip. From this it was apparent that the position of the coccyx hadn't changed. He tried another round of cortisone into the hip and the coccyx. Hip ones held for months, but the coccyx was only good for ten days or so.

After discussion, it seemed that I was the right candidate for a coccygectomy. Once the decision was made it was performed quickly. Dr Parkinson uses minimal invasive surgery techniques so I had a small incision and the narrowest bruising. I was up on my feet within hours, although very sore. From the minute the anaesthetic wore off I knew the pain from the coccyx had gone.

I had no problems with the incision or infection. A waterproof dressing was used with a padded one over it and it was checked several times a day. I took Endone regularly for the first 48 hours and then as needed. I was in hospital from Friday to Tuesday, probably twenty four hours longer than most, but I had that 300kms to get home.

Today, eight weeks later, I have just a bruised feeling, and it pulls a bit when I bend or if I lift anything. I can sit, stand and walk without issue. The hip area is still annoying but I have spent a year pulling it the wrong way. Physio and exercise should sort it.

I was the right candidate, and Dr Parkinson was the right surgeon. He is experienced, his surgical skills are very impressive, he is kind and caring. If you need a coccygectomy, don't be frightened of it, and if you can, do go to Dr Parkinson.

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