Had my coccyx removed this week

Maggie Thorpe - pissourimaggie@aol.com

Posted 2007-02-04

I am writing this standing up as I have just had my coccyx removed four days ago.

I first started having a problem in the coccyx area three years ago. I had suffered lower back pain for over 20 years, but not in this area. Once the coccyx pain started to get worse I have not had lower back pain. However, I have suffered unbelievable discomfort and pain in the coccyx. I got to the stage where I could not sit down or drive the car. I could not travel as a passenger unless I laid down in the back of the car. I had to stand on aircrafts. Getting out of sitting position was a nightmare. I could not do it with out yelling out loud and holding my bum!

Last January I was admitted into hospital in West Yorkshire UK to have a manipulation under anaesthetic. Also had injections put inside as well. They worked wonders for six weeks then I was as bad as ever. I returned to see my GP and was sent back to my specialist. Mr Wray at Airedale Hospital West Yorkshire (see Doctors and specialists in the UK) . He said I was a good candidate for a removal operation. I was told he was the expert this field and he had done over hundred operations.

I went into hospital on the 30th January 2007 for my removal. I was operated on the same day and I stayed in hospital two nights. I was surprised to find I had little discomfort was I work from the anaesthetic. I was on a morphine drip and pain killers Declafenic and paracetamol. On day two I felt Ok but had not been to the toilet. Mr Wray came to visit me and said I could go home as soon as I had moved my bowels. I ate loads of fruit and took some laxatives and drank Aloe Vera Gel. The next morning I had gone to the loo big time! So I was able to go home. I am still taking laxatives as I think without it would be very painful.

I have not felt too much discomfort. I was told to lay on my side and stand up top eat. Not to sit down for six weeks. This is a bit of a downer for me as I had a big engagement to attend in London in three weeks time and now I doubt I can go if I cant sit down. I don't know what will happen if I sit too soon.

I shall wait and see how I am getting on.

I am still taking the Declafenic and the paracetamol. I am OK standing and I can sleep OK on my side. Laying on ones back hurts at the moment. Also when the pain killers wear off I have had moments of very bad pain. I have been using a MEDICUR pain relief machine at times like this. I found it helps. It also helps to sleep on silk sheet or silk nightwear as you can turn over easier.

I am able to walk OK and I have not tried to sit.

All in all I feel I cant believe I have had this done after a long time waiting and feeling my life was on hold. I just want to be patient and get the next few weeks over. I have booked a flight in Mid April as I am determined to get away to the sun.

I will update you later. My stitches are due out in 10 days time.

Regards Maggie Thorpe.

Update, 2007-02-11

I am now in my eleventh day after surgery. I have had horrific pain the past week. This is when the pain killers are wearing off. I have seen my GP and I have now been given ZAMADOL tablets and Diclofenac. Slow release Zamadol, and I can take Paracetamol in between if needed. I feel better today, less pain and I had a shower for the first time. Next Friday I have the stitches removed.

I have not sat down as yet and I don't know if I could do so as it is painful to try to do so. All in all I am feeling positive and hoping it has all been worthwhile. I will post later to update my progress.

Thanks Jon for allowing me to pass on my experience and the help I have had from this site prior to having surgery. It is good to read up on other peoples experiences. Makes you feel less alone.

Regards Maggie.

Update, 2007-02-18

Thank you to all who have contacted me, and for your good wishes.

I am now feeling so much better, the pain is much less and I have had my stitches out. I am two and a half weeks after my operation. I feel better each day and today I have not had to take any pain killers so far. May need some as the day progresses, but so far I feel I don't need them. I have slept well and I can now turn over and I found myself laying on my back this morning. I could not have done that a week ago. I have not sat down and I wont till I know I can. My surgeon said 6 weeks. I see him for a check up on Monday. I have been outside and had a few short slow walks with my husband. I was pain free. Just felt light headed may be with the pain killers.

All in all I am pleased I am recovering so fast. I eat a very healthy diet, lots of fish , fruit and vegetables, and I don't drink alcohol. I have been taking Beta Glucan tablets for six months to boost my immune system. I bought them from America on the Internet. I cant buy Beta Glucan in the UK. I think it has helped me heal faster. The nurse in the hospital could not believe how fast my wound was healing. I said I had been taking the Beta Glucan. She said she had studied it at university. She said it mends cells faster. The product I bought was IMMUTOL.

I would not hesitate to have the operation if you can have it. I feel it will have changed my life as I had been in pain for years. I used to have lower back pain from my waist down for 20 plus years. However, since the pain in my coccyx started my original back pain has gone!

So now I feel pain free apart from the operation wound pain. It will be bliss! To be able to sit without been in agony.

I do hope any of you out there can find a solution to your problem. Please don't be afraid of the surgery. It was not scary for me as I was so glad to get it done with.

I did have recovery pain, but once I got the pain killers sorted I have felt much better. I would not hesitate to have this done again. My life was dreadful before as I was unable to do so many things. I say if you can get it sorted with surgery, then go for it!

Best wishes Maggie.

Update, 2007-03-25

I am now seven weeks after my operation and I have to say I feel GOOD!

I have still pain inside from the healing process, but I am able to manage most days with out pain killers. I do take 100 mg diclofenac suppositories at night if need be as it helps you feeling less stiff in a morning. Plus I still feel pain if I lay on my back. I have pain if I bend over and a tightness in the area. However, none of this is anything I cant cope with. I feel so much better after having horrific pain for years in my back. I have started trying to sit down on the edge of the seat or on my coccyx cushion on a firm chair. I can manage a few minutes and it is getting better each day. I still spend most of my day standing and walking. I am used to standing as I have done so all my life as part of my job. If I feel tired I have a little lie down for a short time. I am retired now so no need to feel guilty at laying down!

I have been able to get back into walking each day and I can walk 3 to 4 miles no problem. I have always been a good walker and I find it helps with back pain. I have not driven the car yet. I have only sat in the car twice. I tried last week as I had to go to the dentist. My husband did the driving and I ended up having to sit on the back seat leaning forward and holding on the front seat headrest. It was not a good journey so wont be going in the car for a while.

I have to fly to Cyprus mid April. This will be a test getting to the airport in the car. Cyprus is four and a half hour flight. However, I have done this flight so many times with my coccyx problem that I guess the cabin crew know me. I have sit for take off & landing but I stand up most of the journey at the back of the plane. I always carry my coccyx cushion. However because of security at airport I now have to take a self inflatable cushion so it fits into my handbag. I bought a good one two years ago from www.putnams.co.uk and it helps if I sit with my tailbone that was hanging over the back edge.

I am still delighted with the results I have had so far. I cant believe how much better I feel. I just hope I continue to go this way. I am so pleased I have the removal done. Good luck to all who are experiencing the same problems. I will post in a few months after I return from Cyprus. Let you know how I managed the flight!


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