34 years of pain after the surgery

Joan - JEL888@aol.com

Posted 2006-11-12

My name is Joan. This is my story.

I fell down a concrete embankment and broke my tailbone, unknown, at the age of 16. After a few days of pain, it was better so I did nothing about it.

When I married in 1972, on my trip back from Niagara Falls, I was driving the convertible when I began having excruciating pain down my legs. After just a few minutes, the pain was gone but so was the feeling. I had gone numb and my husband had to stop the car using his hand on the brake. I had to make the rest of the trip home kneeling in the back seat and laying face down on the trunk of the car.

I went to emergency, they referred me to a surgeon. The surgeon said after looking at the x-rays that I had broken the bone and he would have to operate to fix it. I allowed surgery. When I was coming out of the anesthesia, the doctor was there and explained that he had to remove the entire coccyx, it had been split in 3 places. I thought it was fine I didn't feel anything at all there, but I could at least feel my legs. Relief!! I thought.

After 4 days in the hospital, the doctor released me for home. I was still crawling but at least I could do something besides laying in bed all day. When I tried walking about a week later, there was a tearing sensation in my left buttock. I called the doctor about this and was informed that it was a part of the healing process. OK, I believe in doctors still so I did nothing for it.

The area of surgery was so badly bruised and swollen that I could barely wear underwear, much less any outer clothing. It was incredibly sensitive to the touch so I did not sit at all. I laid on the floor most of the time because I couldn't put my legs up on the bed except my hand.

As the weeks went by, I could stand straight and sit on one cheek and do the things I had to do, but the tearing sensation would reappear if I turned a certain way or moved too much. It could be relieved by sitting down on a cushion for a few minutes, and then it was gone until I did something to bother it again. I asked my doctor how long this would go on, he said it was common, that it would ease after a while. I still believed in him.

Two years later, I was beginning to think the tearing, swelling and the hypersensitivity would never go away but the doctor insisted it was healing very well and that only time would ease these 3 things. OK, I waited.

I continued working at my job with the symptoms of tearing coming spasmodically but the sensitivity remained constant. The swelling and bluish coloring over the incision never went away. I looked at this as my surgery scar and I had to get used to it because the doctor said it was fine.

At the age of 42, not only did the tearing continue, it became almost constant. Relieving it by sitting on a cushion took much longer and a lot of times it didn't ease it at all, I had to get into a hot tub with a donut and sit for an hour or so to relieve it.

The doctor who operated on me is now long gone but his memory remains. I'm 52 years old now and not only do I have the tearing sensation constantly, the bluish coloring over the hypersensitive incision and the swelling over the incision, now I have a numb right thigh and hip, where the numbness is on the right leg, the left leg feels like an overworked muscle all the time. The left hip feels like there is a weight on it. I have electric shock spasms in both legs any time I relax them, this is especially horrible at night when I try to go to sleep, which is intermittent at best. The spasms send me flailing across the bed. I have fluttering spasms in both legs every day all day which don't hurt but they feel like I've used all my energy, need food and start the shakes. This goes on 24/7. It makes my legs feel tired all the time. I walk very little, climbing 2 steps into my house is incredibly painful and a struggle to move the legs upward. I have pinpoint burning sensations in the balls and toes of both feet. This happens intermittently still, hopefully I'll die before they become a permanent event. I have deep itching in both heels that cannot be scratched. I have severe cramps in the arches of both feet that cannot be walked out, I have to soak them in the vibrating foot bath to get any easing.

Since this has been going on for so many years, there is nothing I can do. I've seen different kinds of doctors for different kinds of therapy and nothing has helped much. I did have one doctor who did acupuncture to ease up the tightening in my left buttock to try getting rid of that tearing sensation, it helped a little, never truly removing the pain, just easing it to a shadow of a pain for a little while. But it always came back a few hours after the treatment.

I am so happy to hear of those who had success with this surgery, but to tell you the truth, I would NEVER recommend it for anyone. If you've had the surgery and still feel little twinges once in a while below the waist, I have a very bad feeling that those twinges will increase to pain and debilitation as the years go by. I've begged one of my doctors to paralyze me from the waist down to stop this pain. He couldn't of course, but I'm willing.

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