Protruding coccyx bone

Melissa -

Original posting, 2005-05-01:

When I was born it was discovered that I had an abnormally long tailbone. This was not something that ever bothered me and the doctors never did any tests to see what exactly was going on. I can actually touch and feel the end of my tailbone. It sticks out about an inch or so right below where the crease of my backside begins. My parents have always been concerned about me hitting it or fracturing it, especially when I was a little child but that never happened and it never caused me any problems. I am almost 25, so I thought that I was home free by now and that it would never bother me and would just be my "abnormality". Boy was a wrong. About 2 years ago I remember sitting down in the drivers seat of my car and feeling the bone. I didn't feel any pain but it felt as if I was sitting on it. I had never felt this before on any cushioned surface. The only time I could actually feel it was if I was sitting on a hard surface and tried to sit directly on my backside. It was always impossible for me to stretch or touch my toes in gym class because I could not sit directly on my backside and always had to tilt to my right or left butt cheek in order to be comfortable. So I was slightly concerned when I could feel it sitting in my car. But then again it didn't cause me any pain at all.

About 6 months ago I started to feel sore after sitting on my couch for 15 minutes or so. I thought it was unusual and that it would go away so I didn't do anything about it. As the months progressed I began feeling actual pain. I would only feel it in certain sitting positions, if there was pressure on the actual bone and when I was sitting in my car. Then I began waking up at night in pain. I was rolling over at night on my back or just where there would be pressure on the bone and the pain would literally wake me up. I finally decided that I needed to have it looked at and find out what was going on. I didn't think I had fractured it but was concerned since that was a definite possibility. By the grace of God I happened upon this website while searching for information. I read some stories and searched for a doctor in my area. I found that there was a Dr. Dickerson in Charlotte, NC (see Doctors and specialists in the USA) who was a specialist in the coccyx bone area. I read the stories of women who had gone to him. One story was of a women and her daughter who lived in Raleigh, which is where I live. They said that they had gone to hospitals here and the doctors couldn't help them. Dr. Dickerson was the only one who could. I immediately made an appointment to see Dr. Dickerson. I went this past Monday for my appointment and I am so glad that I did. This is what we discovered:

After taking X-rays Dr. Dickerson came in and sat down with me. He told me that I have a very unusual X-ray. He explained that normally there are 4 different types of tailbones. One that kinda follows along with the spine and comes more or less straight down, one that curved into the body a little and one that curves in a lot and then there is a forth kind that would be a broken tailbone and is more or less broken in pieces. Mine is the unusual 5th kind in which it curves out away from the body and protrudes out. He has not seen many like mine. In my case there is not much that they can do to fix it except surgery. He wanted to give me one cortizone shot to make sure that wouldn't cure me. He didn't think so but figured it was worth a shot. I laid down on my stomach and he have me 3 injections - 2 where the spine and coccyx meet and one on the tip of my coccyx bone, which by the way hurt like crazy. That is where I am sore the most and I almost jumped off the table.

The cortizone shot didn't help much. It made it easier for me to drive the 2 and 1/2 hours home since the ride there was painful. It has helped with the swelling since it is easier and less painful for me to sit but I am still in pain if I sit in the wrong position and if I put pressure on it. I also woke up again last night in pain. I am calling today to make my appointment for the surgery. Dr. Dickerson said to wait about 10 days but I figure if I am still in pain 2 days after it's not going to get any better. I will be keeping up with my log of my before and after surgery. I hope this can possibly help someone.

Update, 2005-07-17:

Hello all, sorry it has been so long since I have given an update. Here is what has been going on. I did have my coccyx bone remove as of June 13th. Dr. Dickerson of Charlotte Orthopedic Specialists performed the surgery. First I have to say that he was wonderful. Everything that I had read about him on this site was dead-on accurate. He is very kind and sweet and I hope for the sake of all us coccyx pain sufferers he doesn't retire. Okay so on with my story...

I went in the morning of the 13th with my Mom who was kind enough to travel from NJ to take care of me. We waited for a little while in a small room and then they wheeled me out for the surgery. The anesthesiologist got me ready and then I was wheeled into the operating room. I have no idea when I fell asleep but all I really remember is waking up and I was being wheeled back to the small room to see my Mom. The pain was minimal, I guess since I was still on pain meds, but I was feeling slightly sore. My Mom spoke with Dr. Dickerson after the surgery and he said everything went great. He also told her that when they started the surgery they could see several scars on my skin where the tip of my coccyx bone was sticking out from times that it had broken through the skin. I was not surprised since there had been several times where I would wake up one morning and I could feel a cut right where the tip of my coccyx bone protruded. After hearing that I was glad that I had gone through the surgery. I was supposed to stay the night in Charlotte so Dr. Dickerson could see me the next day but it turned out the surgery went so well he didn't think that was necessary and said I could head home right away. I was so happy because all I really wanted to do was to get home.

I left the hospital only a little while after that. The nurses were shocked that I was so coherent and lively. I went to the bathroom, ate some crackers and was ready to go. Healing wasn't that bad for me. I was able to walk around but very slow and I was able to sit for short periods of time as long as I didn't put too much pressure on the back part of my backside. The first few days after the surgery I was very sore and achy in my butt cheeks and even in my thighs. I progressed considerably after the first week and was feeling a lot better the second week. I was getting sharp shoots of pain where the incision was but I figured that was normal and I still was not able to drive or put any pressure on it at all. Sitting was okay but I couldn't lay on my back.

At the end of the second week I had my stitches removed by my general physician and he said everything looked great. I felt about the same the third week but was a little less sore. I returned to work at the end of the third week and have been back for almost a week. Driving is okay although I am a little sore while driving and sore immediately after but it goes away about 30 seconds after I get out of the car. I get sore after sitting for 45 minutes to an hour but I am able to sit for longer the more time I have to heal. Everything seems just fine.

The strangest part of it all was after having the bandages taken off I was able to feel the scar. The scar is bumpy but fine. The part that freaked me out was not feeling the bone sticking out. It has been there my whole life and I am so used to it. As silly as it sounds I just didn't feel like myself for the first few days and I still feel strange. I'm sure I will get over it soon enough :)

I would definitely recommend Dr. Dickerson to anyone who is living in NC or SC, he is the best.

Update, 2005-08-21:

Hello again everyone. Here is my next update. It is the 5th of August and it is almost 8 weeks after my surgery. I am feeling very good. Each week I get better and I am almost feeling normal now. The doctor says that as of next Tuesday I can start exercising again. Yeah!! I know I will have to be careful with that but I am glad to have permission now.

I am not feeling very much discomfort at all. I can drive without a problem and sitting is fine also. I am getting to the point where I can lean back on my butt and kinda lounge in a chair. This was uncomfortable before. If I do this I cannot sit there too long or I will get sore but at least I can do it. Getting up out of my car is still a little uncomfortable but getting better. I found that if I put both of my feet flat on the ground and then stand up I do not feel strained.

I am looking forward to sitting flat on my butt and stretching before my workout. This is something I have never been able to do because my tailbone stuck out too much and I would have to lean to the right or left to stretch.

I am also looking forward to going horseback riding since it was always uncomfortable for me in the past. I could do it but I would be sore around the tip of my bone and even sometimes get cuts there. I am so glad that everything turned out okay.

I hope all of you guys have as much luck. Please email me if you have any questions at all. I have changed my email address to

Many Blessings to all of you.


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