Kathi - Kfirebrd67@aol.com
Original posting, 2004-12-12:
Hi my name is Kathi, I'm a 38 year old female and last January 2004 I fell down 12 concrete stairs and broke my tailbone. Since that time I've had numerous x-rays, mri's, bone scans, and now I'm having a cat scan done. my tailbone is at an upward 90 degree angle. I found this site out of pure desperation because I couldn't find a specialist in Washington State that deals with this type of injury, especially since this happened at work and it is an L & I claim.
I did find 1 Doctor in Bremerton, WA that at least explained my options, and suggested cortisone injections, then if that fails they would do surgery. This site has been so helpful hearing what everyone else has gone through.
My question to you is -- is there anyone out there from Washington State or close by, that knows of any Orthopedic Surgeons that have performed surgery before? I believe that is where I'm headed and I would like to have the best doctor for the job, not just someone willing to take a chance on me. Feel free to email me with names, and thanks again.
Well, it has been a long hard road to finally get to write about my surgery experience, instead of just the pain and aggravation! About 15 months to be exact. My injury occurred at work, so I was put on an L&I claim, and unfortunately the doctors and surgeons in my area really don't want to take on these kind of patients because (and they told me this themselves) L&I doesn't pay enough!! So my pain went on and on, and nobody here seemed to have any answers for me, except surgery would probably help me, but no surgeons around my area did that anymore.
Through trial and error I found a Doctor Christopher Kain in Bremerton, Washington, (now moved to Kansas, see Doctors and specialists in the USA, Kansas) who is 4 hours away from me, but is the only surgeon I could find that had experience in this type of injury. I am so grateful I found him, as my local doctors have not helped me at all. I first saw him on Nov 20th of 2004, then again on February 8th 2005 and that day he gave me an injection, which made me feel normal again (only for about 8 hours) and of course he did the dreaded rectal exam, and he said he could feel my tailbone moving and then recommended surgery with an 80% chance of curing my problem.
After waiting 3 more months for L&I to approve this surgery I was finally scheduled for May 12, 2005. The morning of my surgery I had to be at the hospital by 6 a.m., my surgery was scheduled for 8 a.m. This was an outpatient surgery or same day surgery. The worst part about the surgery was waiting in the pre-op room, my surgery was delayed because of an emergency, so I didn't actually go in until around 9 a.m., and it only took 45 minutes.
It was very uncomfortable laying on the bed, with everything attached to me, it was real hard to get on my side and we all know that lying on our backs is very painful. I didn't have any pain meds since 9 p.m. the night before, so the pain was starting to get the best of me. Just then one of the anesthesiologist came in and told the nurses to give me something.
Next thing I knew I was waking up in the recovery room (relieved to know the surgery was over) they were giving me pain meds through my IV, until the pain was gone.
Dr. Kain told my husband that he removed the piece that was floating, it was completely broken off and he had to smooth out the jagged edges. (all this after all the doctors here said even though my M.R.I.'s and C.A.T. scans showed it at a 90 degree angle, they still couldn't find a fracture!!) Anyway, I felt very good, not feeling any pain, I spent about and hour in recovery and another hour in a room before they discharged me and let me go home.
I had a 4 hour drive home, but I was very comfortable in the back seat of my brother's mini van, laying on my side, we even stopped for dinner and I was able to get out and move around with no pain.
Since I felt so good that night, I didn't take enough pain medicine before I went to bed, and about 4 a.m. Friday morning I was not in good shape, but I learned to take more medicine and controlled the pain, and each day is getting better!
I am now 10 days post op, and I am feeling almost back to new, Dr. Kain used all dissolvable stitches and steri tape which is still on my bum until it wears off. I have very little bruising. I still feel a little tight right on the tailbone, but I can finally sit on a cushion on a firm surface, that took about 6 days before I could sit at all, but my hips were hurting from laying on my side, and my back from laying on my stomach.
I still use an ice gel pack which really helps with the tightness a couple of times a day. I am so very pleased that I had this surgery, after all the scare tactics and horror stories the doctors here told me, I would do it all over again as the pain I had before is now gone, and I can walk normally again. Soon I will be able to return to work and get my life back!
To anyone considering surgery, if you meet the criteria and you have a qualified surgeon, don't delay! I am finally looking forward to better days!! I will update my condition again soon, Best of luck to all who suffer this condition, this website has also been a blessing for me and has really helped and inspired me to seek out qualified care, Thanks so much!!