My tailbone grinds and pops

Christy -

Posted 2009-09-06

At 20, while pregnant with my first child, my sciatic nerve bothered me some. I had to have a C-section. My bladder and kidneys were very weak for years. I had a bladder distention surgery in 2005. While pregnant with my second child in 2007, my sciatic nerve began bothering me again. My OBG-YN referred me to physical therapy. While the physical therapist worked on me, my right hip began grinding and popping. The pain was unbearable. The PT worked my hip back into joint, and conferred with my doctor, who told me to go home and wait for the baby to arrive. So I did, for 4 months. All the while in unbearable tailbone and right hip pain. After my son was born, I took strong pain medicine, which gave me the appearance of not hurting, but I did. I hurt all the time, especially when going from a sitting to a standing position.

I made an appointment with the local sport medicine clinic, and the Range of Motion examination was so hard on me physically (started having numbness, tingling and pain in legs, toes, upper back, neck and right side of head/face), I decided to get a 2nd opinion, although they suggested surgery on my hip loose cartilage and a tear in the labrum. The second opinion doctor gave me a round of steroids and told me the tear had healed itself and the loose cartilage wasn't visible to him.

Finally, my general practitioner x-rayed my tailbone, and discovered I sit on my TB. It's very long, and curves in toward my bladder. She decided to put me on an anti-depressant, and it helped for a couple of months, although I always had pain. My GP told me I'd have to live with the pain; but I recently found a doctor at the University experienced in coccxyectomy. I'm supposed to see my GP this afternoon; hopefully she'll give me a referral.

Some days the pain is unbearable, some days I can function. Every time I move my tailbone grinds and pops. I can feel the 'break' on the outside. Sometimes massaging it helps, heat helps, soft cushion chairs help. I have muscle pain in my entire pelvic area, and most of the time I have to sit on a towel to take a bath. I'm 31 years old and I feel like I'm broken.

After driving an hour one way to work everyday, I'm usually too wiped out to do much around the house, other than the basics. My daughter and husband help as much as they can, but she's a 10 year old and my husband works out of town during the week. My prayer is that my 18 month old son can one day know the 'mommy' I was before this terrible pain came into our lives 3 years ago.

Thank you for listening to my story.


Update, 2009-09-27

Hello all. Since I first wrote, a lot has happened. My GP wouldn't give me a referral, and basically told me she thought I was looking for medications. So I called the GP I had since childhood, who just happened to retire a couple of years ago. He came out of retirement to treat me!! A nerve conduction study test was done on my right leg, then I was sent to Pain Management. There Dr. Lasseter did a sit x-ray and discovered that when I sit my tailbone dislocates and the top coccyx bone rubs the sacrum. PRAISE THE LORD!! There is something real wrong with me and it's not all in my head!!!

Now the cortisone injection lasted 100% for about 48 hours; down to 50% after 4 days, and it wasn't helping at all by day 9. I'm back on pain meds, again. Another two weeks before my next scheduled cortizone injection. Dr. L was supposed to consult with some doctors, because I told him I am NOT opposed to taking the tailbone out. He sadly said, 'that might be what this comes to.' I laughed and said, 'hey don't look so sad, this has been a pain in my butt for three years!!'

Will update as I find out more.

One thing I must vent about is how other people treat you when they don't understand what you are going through. Please always consider others, you never know what illness they might be trying to hide, be kind to one another.

Update, 2009-10-11

Yesterday the pain management doc decided to send me on to an Orthopedic Surgeon, and not do a repeat injection. So now I'm waiting on the appointment. Thanks Jon for the updates. And to my TBones Posse - keep your head up. :-)

Update, 2009-12-06

So much has happened since I updated yall last...and I have great news!!

After being referred to the North Institute in Slidell, LA for tailbone removal... I was really ecstatic and relieved when Dr. Logan brought in his brilliant Physical Therapist. . . together they determined that my pubis bone attempted to close at an angle (remember I was pregnant when I fell), my hips were rotated 20 degrees - think east to west, not north to south. This, of course, explained a lot! We decided that I should undergo a course of PT for 5 days to correct as much as we could. So I left my family for a week, stayed in a hotel room and he manually un-rotated my hips, which allowed my tailbone to settle into place. He found deep tissue damage and the ligament on my right side that starts at the top of the hip and wraps around, ends up at the back of the knee - yeah, that one - it was damaged, and believe it or not, I think that stretching that ligament was the hardest part.

That was five weeks ago. Now, I haven't done my at-home physical therapy as well as I should; but I'm completely healed. The pain stopped after day two of PT, my muscles were super sore, but the pain was GONE!! I stopped taking the pain and anxiety medicine; and weaned myself off the other meds. :-) I am now completely medicine and pain FREE!! It's a miracle!!

Don't take 'no' for an answer... keep pushing until you get an answer.

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