Fell 2008, still in pain, going for surgery

Diane - dispel@ntlworld.com

Posted 2009-03-22

11 months ago whilst doing a bit of painting I fell backwards and landed on a wooden chair in the seated position. As I landed I felt a shudder go right through my spine, it was a weird sensation, and then I passed out. The pain was excruciating and for the next few days I was just laid out with an ice pack.

1 week later I went to casualty department as the pain was not any easier, I could not sit at all. The Doctor told me he had never seen a broken coccyx in all his 13 years in casualty and he refused an x-ray (probably he had never seen one because he will not ever x-ray anybody!!!). He gave me some strong painkillers and said in 6 - 8 weeks I would be back to normal - if only. I had pain radiating down both legs and just felt like someone had kicked me with a steel toecapped boot. My lower back just constantly burned. A few weeks later I went to the Doctor and she prescribed Ibuprofen, Lyrica and Diazapam. She decided to send me for an MRI scan of the coccyx - 4 weeks later when I had my scan I mentioned to the lady doing the scan to make sure they scanned my coccyx to which she informed me that they never scan peoples coccyx, I reminded her it was on my notes to do this. 6 weeks later I got the results through - no mention of the coccyx at all, they had not even scanned it!!!!!! - they had only scanned my lower back which pointed to a few disc problems. I went back to the Doctor and she was unhappy and sent me for another MRI scan - exactly the same happened - no scan of coccyx.

It was now about 4 months since I had fallen and I still had to stand up to eat every meal, I could not drive or take the kids to the pictures - all the usual things we normally take for granted. Fortunately I work from home so I could stand up at the computer. I had two position vertical and horizontal anything in between was a no no. The Doctor then referred me to a back specialist, she said nothing can be done for coccyx, it just takes time and gave me some back exercises. Since then I have seen a physiotherapist and manipulative therapist - both made things worse.

I have recently been referred to another back specialist and he has suggested I have acupuncture or cortizone injections. He applied for me to have an x-ray but again I was turned down.

11 months later things have improved inasmuch as I can now sit down for 20 minutes on my coccyx cushion and I can drive for about 15 minutes. I have read hundreds of the experiences on this website and I feel for you all. I would love to hear from anybody who has had treatment that has been successful.

Lots of you have mentioned Dr Durtnall in London so I thought I would book an appointment. I am going down to London next week to see him.

I find it very frustrating and difficult to believe how the medical profession seem to completely ignore this condition but its comforting to know that I am not on my own as many of you have had the same experience.

Thankyou Jon for this fantastic website.

Posted 2012-03-25

Hi Everyone. Well after 4 years of trying everything, from internal manipulation, cortizone injections, ganglion impar injections, acupuncture etc I have decided to go ahead with surgery. I am booked in for the 20th April with Dr. CC Wray, Airedale Hospital in Yorkshire (see Doctors and specialists in the UK, West Yorkshire). When I went to see him he said I was a good candidate for surgery and he has performed this operation many times. I must admit I feel pretty scared but do not know what else to do as nothing else has worked for me. Would love to hear from anybody that has had surgery or any positive feedback.

Regards, Diane.

Posted 2012-04-29

Hi everyone, well I had my surgery last Friday 20th April.

Day 1 - Fri 20th April

Went to Airedale Hospital, West Yorkshire for 7 am. Went to surgery at about 11.30 am. My husband rang the Hospital and they said I came back onto the ward about 3 pm! - so I don't know how long I was in surgery. I presume I must have been a while in recovery. Dr. Wray told me the operation would take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. My husband and kids came to see me in the evening but I can't even remember them being there. I was on a morphine drip and oxygen mask, my blood levels were quite low.

Day 2 - Sat 21st April

Well could not remember anything about yesterday after the operation. Still on morphine drip today, plus 500 mg paracetamol 4 times a day and diclofenac 3 times a day. Felt very out of it. Tried to stand up but went dizzy. Amazingly hardly in any pain. Pain level 1/10!

Day 3 - Sun 22nd April

Did not sleep well last night, not because of pain, think just hard to sleep in hospitals. Blood pressure gone up slightly, so that is good news. Still hardly in any pain at all. Pain level 1/10. Managed to have a walk around Ward (no pain) and yeah managed a BM (this did increase pain but not half as bad as I thought it would be). This means I should be able to go home as soon as my blood pressure is up.

Day 4 - Mon 23rd April

Yeah - my blood pressure is back to normal so said I could go home in evening!!!!! soooooo happy. Nurse came and changed my dressings, said wound looked clean but bruised. Gave me a few dressings to go home with. I was told not to sit for 6 weeks. But I am used to that because could only manage to sit for a very short time before surgery. Gave me painkillers to take home. Travelled home in back of a campervan, laid down, which was fantastic because it was over an hours drive. Pain level 1/10

Days 5-8 - 24th-27th April

Great to be home, still am in hardly any pain, cannot believe it. I have read quite a lot of posts where pain kicks in later so hey ho. Must say got a raised toilet seat and that has been brilliant. That extra height makes all the difference, I do think it would have been difficult without it because it does hurt when you sit on the toilet and I can imagine I would have struggled without it. I also got a grabber stick which has been a massive help especially as I seem to have been dropping almost everything since coming home. I am having my stitches out next Friday, District Nurse. Will post again next week and let you know how I went on. Pain levels still 1/10.

Posted 2012-06-10

Week 2

Cut out pain killers this week. Just now taking diclofenac. Pain level is still very low 1/10 - feeling very positive - although not sat yet. Well all was going really well till district nurse came. She looked at my stitches and said they looked like dissolvable ones and did not know what to do. I suggested to ring the hospital but she just started prodding around and pulled, ouch, wow did that bring tears to my eyes!!!!! My wound started hurting quite a bit after that. She put a dressing back on and told me to take it off in a few days. Well, could not believe it when took dressing off a few days later, my wound was open! (not fully, only about the size of a pencil eraser). I immediately rang the hospital and spoke directly with my surgeon and he said they were dissolvable stitches and that she should just have cut the knots off at either end!!! He was very upset and could not believe she had ripped the top layer of stitches out. Apparently this is very routine for a nurse and she should have known this. He told me to let air get to it and it should close back up on its own. Dr. Wray was fantastic and spent a good 10 minutes on the phone trying to reassure me that it should have no detrimental effect on my outcome. I just wanted to post about the stitches in case anyone else is faced with this. Please please make sure the nurse knows what she is doing. This has probably set me back quite a few weeks.

Week 3

Another hole appeared in wound and had a discharge. Called District Nurse round (different one) and she said the discharge was a sign of healing from the inside upwards and nothing to worry about. I was so worried about infection, but she said the wound looked fine! Told me to cover it back up again.

Well I do not want to sound all negative, because other than the wound coming open everything else has gone really well. I have been in minimal pain, never going over a 2/10 and I would say nearer a 1/10 most of the time. At 5 weeks I started going out for walks everyday and that really helped.

Week 6

Saw my surgeon for my checkup. The wound is now nearly closed. He said he would be gobsmacked (his words) if the wound came back open and that the skin looked very healthy around. Apparently there is quite a few layers of stitches inside. Said I can now try to start sitting. To go back in 3 months.

Now walking up to 3 miles a day. Still using raised toilet seat and grabber stick.

Week 7

Yeah wound looks all but healed up. Started sitting this week 2 mins first day, 4 mins 2nd day and now I am up to 10 mins a day (sat on coccyx cushion). Cannot lean back without pain, but doctor said not to just yet. NO SIT TO STAND PAIN that I had before surgery. That makes me feel so positive that this op is going to work for me. Cannot wait to start driving again, that will be the next big step. All in all I am pleased I have had the surgery because for me I had tried everything else and nothing had worked.

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