More pain after surgery

Priscilla -

After giving birth to my son in 1999, I began having pain in my tailbone area. I thought this was normal because he is my first child and I didn't know any better. But after about 2 years, it got so bad I was getting stuck. My husband would have to pull me up if I was laying on my back, help me out of the tub, sometimes carry me up to bed, etc.

I finally went to see my family doctor about it and was sent to a neurologist. He sent me for x-rays, but they were of my lower back (?), so he didn't see anything wrong. I went to physical therapy, and during a session, the therapist saw the bone protruding.

I took new x-rays (in the right area this time), and was told that my tailbone had broken and had healed sticking back into me.

I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon and, after painful injections and stretches, underwent a coccygectomy. It healed fine, but not long after I was still experiencing a lot of pain. I went back to my orthopedic and she told me that my coccyx broke during labor because it was too long and that she could not cut any more because it would affect my bowel control.

I suffered for a while thinking this was something I would just have to deal with. I have a piece of bone still sticking out, a lot of swelling, throbbing pains, and now I have sharp shooting pains down my right leg to behind the knee.

I just started seeing my current doctor for pain management. We've been trying different meds (nerve medicines like neurontin) and pain killers. Guess we'll see what happens from here.

If anyone has any kind of success with a similar problem fell free to email me at

Note from Jon Miles:

There are a couple of things about Priscilla's story that make me wonder how much experience her surgeon had with this operation. One is the suggestion that the operation could have caused her to lose control of her bowels. In seven medical papers covering more than 200 such operations, this never occurred. The other is the fact that she is left with a protrusion at the site of the surgery, which is not normal. My suggestion would be for her to go to one of the surgeons recommended by their patients (see Find a doctor or specialist).

Updated 2004-04-18

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