Fused tailbone

Donna - mysaradog@comcast.net

I first broke my tailbone 24 years ago while roller-skating. Then again 10 years ago, again roller-skating. I have had hip pain for what seems forever. When I would do certain tasks at work, after coming home and sitting, I would not be able to get up; it was as my hips were frozen. I had one doctor tell me it was my piriformis muscle being overused and pinching the sciatica when I bent over at the waist too much. I have been a groundskeeper and was always bending over at the waist to pull weeds, plant flowers, whatever. And on those days I did a lot of that, after the 25 min. drive home, I could hardly get out of the car. My right hip and hamstring were so tight and painful; I would have to get out of the car shaking my leg like a dog. After a night's sleep and sometimes a hot bath, I would be ready for another day. So I tried to avoid the tasks where I found myself bending at the waist or I would modify my movement (on hands and knees). I put up with the pain. Until these last few months.

I changed jobs to one sitting at a desk for most of the day. I found my hip, hamstring pain coming back more often, not going away after a night's sleep and a new pain radiating from the tailbone region itself and some discomfort with bowel movements. So off to the doctor. I was given a list of things I could do to treat Piriformis Syndrome. I chose PT for the first step. PT gave me exercises and stretches to increase strength and flexibility in my hip and hamstring, which was found to be extremely tight. I bought some U shaped cushions to sit on (a bit helpful). PT was helpful in making me aware of the exercise and stretches I need to do, but the stretches have thus far made the pain worse.

So I went back to the doctor, had some x-rays done and found that my tailbone is fused in the straight position, it does not curl in when I sit, like it should. The extra bone formations around my fused tailbone may be irritating the muscles and nerves that run down into the piriformis muscle and causing the hip and hamstring pain. So my next step is cortisone shots. I hope this works. The doctor says that worst case scenario is to have my tailbone removed. But after reading the stories on this website, that sounds a little to scary for me.

Any words of encouragement? I am looking to buy one of those wedge pillows to use at home and work. But I have found those ThermaCare heat patches helpful. Especially after being in pain all day, I come home, stick one of those on, even sleeping with it on, and finding some relief in the morning.

Updated 2005-05-15

What is coccydynia? | Investigation and diagnosis | Treatment | Coping with coccyx pain | Find a doctor or specialist

Medical papers | Personal experiences | Links to other sites | Support groups | Site map