Astrid - email@example.com
Original posting, 2004-11-14:
Last June I wanted to try skating with my two little girls. Not a good idea. Ten minutes after I put the skates on, I fell on my bottom. After the fall I had pain in my bottom, but it was bearable. A few years ago I suffered from pelvic pains, so I've had pain 'over there' before.
In July we went for a holiday to Italy: a 10 hour drive in the car. It was very painful, but I didn't think about the fall. In August we went for a 6 hour drive. My bottom was killing me. When we had to go home and drive for another 6 hours I couldn't take the pain. Painkillers weren't helpful, but laying down in the car did!
I went to see the doctor, who referred me to the hospital for an x-ray. I got a standard x-ray (didn't know of this site yet!). The doctor said that my tailbone was broken.....the tip of the tailbone had a strange angle upwards. I went to the local hospital to a surgeon. He examined me internally (ugh!), and said that he could feel the tip of the tailbone. But he had to disappoint me, because he wouldn't take it out. He never did. He knew of surgeons who used to remove the coccyx, but the results were very poor! The pain would go away in a year or two! Note: I didn't know of this website yet!
Long live the internet! I found your website. And read everything! First I thought that the surgeon didn't know what he was talking about. I felt I knew more about coccyx pain than the surgeon did! But the experiences of others scared me....some of them are living with the pain for many years. That wouldn't happen to me, I thought!
Next visit was to the orthopedic surgeon in the same hospital. I wasn't very hopeful, but was wondering what he had to say about it. Well, I've never met a more stupid man! Even before we (my husband and I) sat down, he said that the previous surgeon was right. I shouldn't want to remove the coccyx. The results were very poor, and I would probably still have the pain after the surgery. But now I knew about medical papers of French, German and British doctors. I asked the orthopedic surgeon where he got his information about the poor results. He looked at me strangely. He said he knew from experience and papers. I told him that I've read differently. I told him about the dynamic x-ray. But he didn't really listen. If my tailbone was broken, there was no doubt where the pain come from, so a dynamic x-ray wasn't necessary. Surgeons hardly remove the coccyx anymore, he said. I answered with: In the Netherlands maybe! Then I got the strange look again. If I had tried sitting on a ring cushion. I told him that a suggestion like that wasn't very helpful....there is nothing wrong with my genitals, and if I sit on a cushion like that there is more pressure from behind. I made a cushion myself that was helpful (thanks to your information). The last suggestion from the orthopedic surgeon, after he said that the pain would be gone in two years, was, that I had to lose weight! The pressure would be less then! What an a....hole. As if he said something new to me....I had to lose weight....and everything would be better. Stupid...
Then I thought about your advice...If a doctor doesn't treat coccyx pain, don't discuss, just find another doctor! So my husband and I went home.
Now I wrote an e-mail to a lot of orthopedic doctors in the larger hospitals in the Netherlands. I translated your letter of enquiry. I received three answers so far. One (a professor) wrote that the hospital did a coccygectomy less than once a year, so he didn't have any experience. He told me to be sure that the pain did come from the coccyx and not the spine. He had read the medical paper from the French surgeon (I attached it to the e-mail) and wished me good luck in finding a good doctor. THAT is a proper answer! Two other doctors e-mailed me and said that they didn't have any experience in treating coccydynia. But told me also to be sure that the pain isn't caused by the spine. Again!
I don't think my pain is caused by my spine. If I wait any longer I will have back pain. My hips and back are starting already! So I know where I should go if that will be to uncomfortable! So far, nobody in the Netherlands is treating coccydynia. I asked a British, French and German surgeon (from your website) if they know a Dutch surgeon with any experience, but they don't. So maybe I have to go abroad!
Thanks to your information I will get a new desk at work. One that I can lift up, so I can work while standing. At least my boss is taking me seriously!
See Paul's experience and Monica's experience about finding doctors in the Netherlands.
Not being able to find a doctor in the Netherlands, Astrid went to France to see Dr Maigne.