Coccyxgectomy - 29 year old female

Beth -

Posted 2007-12-09

Surgery Date was October 24, 2007.

To back up to the beginning, Christmas 2004 my tailbone started to hurt. By March 2005 I could not even sit at my desk job to work. I tried everything - chiropractor, massage, physiotherapy. I had x-rays done in 2005 and I was told that my tailbone was just inflamed. In 2006, I finally found a family doctor, after pleading with him, he gave me a referral to see an Osteopath. In 2006 I went to see the Osteopath, but had to travel about 3 hours to see him, as there are none in my part of Southwestern Ontario. I only went once, as the distance was too much.

Also, in 2006, my doctor set me up with an orthopedic surgeon. I went to see him in the beginning of 2007, and required x-rays to go. He looked at my x-rays, told me that my tailbone was broken, and that he would take it out.

If you have the pain, I recommend you ask your ask your doctor to refer you to an orthopedic surgeon. Going through all of the other was a waste of time, and a year of pain that I could have avoided.

I purchased a wedge cushion with a U cut out of the back, which has helped a lot at work. That, and the company I work at is really understanding of my problem, and I can get up for breaks when I need to (about every hour). I wouldn't say that my pain was excruciating pain like others you read about. I had my bad times; but I explained it to everyone as a constant toothache - that throb you get - in my bum.

Forward to surgery date: I had my surgery in Windsor, Ontario. The doctor I had was great. There is a website - that I will recommend to everyone - for every kind of doctor - great handy site.

I had my surgery on a Wednesday. When I went in, all of the nurses knew that my last bowel movement was on Sunday. I had my surgery at one, complete at two, and I was in recovery till four. In recovery, I woke up laying on my bum. I remember zoning in and out, each time I was awake, I was trying to move onto my side. I could not stay awake long enough to ask anyone to help me move on my side. They moved me up to my room around four.

I was initially on morphine for the pain. I got up immediately to pee, and my bladder would not completely empty - so I had to pee a lot that night. I ordered dinner also, right away. I sat on my bum the same night out of surgery, and was up walking around with my visitors. They switched me off of the morphine, as I was apparently allergic, and put me on Talwin. Sleeping was almost impossible that night.

The next morning, the nurses came in and told me I was going home. They gave me M.O.M. for my constipation, and changed my dressing. I was told that I would see the doctor before I went home, and that I wouldn't go home until I had a bowel movement. I went home without both.

I live alone, so a friend drove me home. I sat in the back of her car, leaning up against pillows and a baby seat, sitting on one cheek/hip. I had lunch, and had a stool softener pill and a laxative pill. Went through all day Thursday without a bowel movement (Day 5). By Friday, I was in so much pain, my friend bought me suppositories. I had a bowel movement Friday; 6 days before a BM, 3 days post surgery.

The hospital supplied me with everything I would need to clean my incision except peroxide. I went out and bought gauze, etc. for this - and everything I bought I did not need. I had my wound cleaned every 2 days. They gave me waterproof cover to stick over my incision for showers, so I had a shower day 4. I did not need a raised toilet seat. Being on the Talwin, I would sleep every couple hours for about an hour; and I was very thirsty.

Day 3 of being out of the hospital, my mom came down to take care of me. I went in the car with her, with my U cushion and a pillow, and not too much pain.

Day 5 again in the car; and started weaning myself off of the Talwin.

Day 8 I was completely off of the Talwin; took tylenol for an additional week.

Day 10 I went and had the stitches snipped at each end, so that they could properly dissolve.

About the middle of November, I had my follow-up with my doctor. My incision healed nicely. He told me that I could walk as much I wanted, and I could go back to work whenever I felt that I could sit comfortably for my shift.

Mid/End Nov - I could sleep on my back.

My tailbone, instead of having the slight curve, was broken in a complete U shape. The doctor cut it off, then shaved down the bone smooth. I did a few things to hinder the healing process. Simple yard work things that you wouldn't think would use your bum muscles - but actually so much does. I had two return to work dates. I hoped that I would be back by Dec 11; but I think my Jan 2 date will be more accurate.

Dec 3 - I drove for the first time. I have been sitting on my bum with the assistance of my U cushion and pillow since the surgery, but driving with only the U cushion and not having to depend on anyone felt like such an accomplishment. Also within the same week, I sat up in bed from laying down position without rolling first; on my back to a sitting position just by using my stomach and bum muscles.

Dec 5 - I am sitting on a couch for about 1/2 hour normally; not where the cushions meet, but on the actual cushion. I can just now start to get up from a sitting position without having pain. Before this, relieving the pressure when getting up from a sitting to standing position was difficult. Move slow to remove the pressure, and don't let anyone help you up. They will raise you quicker than you want to go. I am now trying to push myself a little more, as I need to know that I will be ready by Jan 2 to return to work. I still have the throbbing every now and then. Heat helps.

I have a high tolerance for pain, which right now I am happy for. My experience has not been bad at all; I am only discouraged that I did not heal as quick as I thought I would.

I would recommend to those who have the surgery, to make sure you have a lot to do to keep you occupied on your recovery time. I also purchased one of those work out balls - they are great to sit on in front of your couch, and lean your back against the couch. Only use when you are healing - about 2 weeks into recovery and on - and don't sit for extended periods of time.

Definitely keep stool softener/laxative/suppositories handy.

Try and get off the drugs as soon as possible; getting your body back to normal will take a few weeks.

Get up moving as quickly as you can - if only to walk around your house/hospital.

Take the time to rest and heal. Sleep whenever you feel like it.

Remember that everything uses your bum muscles - so just don't do it.

I will post again before or when I return to work.


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