Coccyx pain - still recovering

Trudy Brown -

Where do I start? Well firstly I have just finally discovered this web site and feel in heaven. I say this as I didn't think or could believe that so many people have suffered with this pain. I sat there reading through all the experiences saying to myself, "...oh my gosh, yes I have been through that, I know how you feel, I can relate to that..." This is so nice, as to when you try to explain this pain to people who are not sufferers its hard. I used to tell them that its like a stabbing pain in your buttocks area, but who do you know that has been stabbed in their buttocks??????? Or I would describe the uncomfortable position of sitting on small pebbles and not being able to remove it. Or your bones locking and trying to ease them back to flexibility, which is painful.

I'm 35 years old and my injury appeared in 2003 while working overseas in the Caribbean for a big Tour Operator and to this day I am still clueless of how it started. However, the pain did get a lot worse when I lifted several boxes. The following day I went to the local hospital for an X-ray and who firstly said that I had broken my back, slightly exaggerated as he had never seen anything like it before. The X-ray showed that one of the coccyx bones had slotted out of place outwards. This shocked me as this was a highly qualified Doctor. What faith do I have in Doctors! Later I was given several injections to numb the area, as you can predict this didn't help. I sat on an inflatable rubber ring for the rest of the summer season and took painkillers. If I sat for a long period of time I knew that I would have difficulties in getting up, my lower back felt like that it had locked and I would have to roll forward to get out of the position. Treatment was quite expensive, so I thought I would wait until I returned to the UK to seek alternative medical treatment.

I was relocated to another Caribbean destination so I saw a Herbal Healer/ Chiropractor, again very expensive. Treatments consisted of purple colour tablets, acupuncture, heat lamp treatments, clicking of joints, stretching maneuvers etc. Again none of it worked.

I was in so much pain I had to leave my job, after slipping/falling down onto my back. On return to the UK, my GP recommend an Orthopedic Surgeon, which I had several consultations with him, explain my medical history. Firstly I received cortisone injection, which gave relief for 2 weeks until I sneezed and the pain came back. Next was the anal manipulation, most embarrassing experience to date.

Finally, the I only option left was surgery. I had the bone removed end of August 2005, the pain was severe. I couldn't walk properly or lie on my front, had to lie on my side, couldn't sit down. My wound had dissolveable stitches in and split open, which then became infected so I took antibiotics for 2 weeks. Bowel movements were impossible as I was scared I would tear open the wound again.

Now we are in mid November and I am still in pain and still on painkiller tablets. Life is still unbearable and now I have convinced myself that I may as well just live with the pain. This whole experience has made me depressed, its limited my social life as I can't sit for long periods of time. You do feel silly when you are the one standing when there is so many available free seats. I went to the theatre and had to stand at the back of the theatre as it was too painful to sit through the production. If I have to sit, I usually lean forward on the chair, which doesn't look professional/lady like in my job or is any good for the rest of my back. I use my cushion, but again it is embarrassing having to carry it around and people stare thinking you have piles or something.

What else is there to try or do I just suffer in silence, please help?

Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences. It has put some light onto my situation/illness.

Trudy Brown

Updated 2005-11-20

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