Coccyx pain and surgery

Mark W - markwinter01@hotmail.com

Original posting, 2005-02-13:

Coccyx pain

My name is Mark, and I am 34 years old and live near Ipswich, Suffolk, UK. I do no know how I hurt my coccyx. My consultant told me that 'doing nothing' was common in someone as slightly built as me! (10 stone (63 kg) and 5'10" (1.78 m)). My problems started around Jan 2004 when I would often have a numb bum after sitting for more than an hour or so, and from April 2004 it progressed to a sharp pain when going from sitting to standing. The coccyx was also very exquisitely tender to the touch.

During October 2004 I had crippling pains when walking. I was told by my orthopaedic specialist that this was due to the coccyx 'wagging' when walking, and 'rubbing against nerves'. From this point I was unable to walk more than a few yards a day, and was pretty much bed-ridden. I have not read this symptom on your site?

I had the usual diagnosis of x-rays and MRI, and had the following treatment - NSAIDS, 3 steroid injections (one with an MUA - manipulation under general anaesthetic). I tried to get a 'stand up/sit down' dynamic x-ray, but the Ipswich hospital does not have this facility and would not refer me to a hospital that did.

It was agreed with my surgeon that he would perform a coccygectomy on 31 January 2005. The risks were:

  1. infection
  2. rectum damage
  3. it may not actually work and could actually make things worse

However as I had not walked for 4 months or sat properly for 10 months, I could not see how things could be a great deal worse. My surgeon had performed about half a dozen coccygectomies in about 10 years. He was one of the areas top surgeons and was very well respected and I had complete faith in him.

My recent surgery

I had my coccyx removed on 31st January 2005, and by the next day I was better before the operation than before it. I could walk! The constant crippling pain under my bottom whenever I moved had gone. Apart from a shot of morphine after the operation for the next two days I was only prescribed paracetomol. I wanted more but was not allowed. However since leaving hospital on the 2nd February I have not used any painkillers.

The area where my coccyx used to be is extremely swollen and bruised, as one would expect. Eleven days after the operation