Surgery success after six months

Jona -

Posted 2009-07-12

My coccyx has been through a lot over the years. I have fallen on the ice on my butt on occasion. At the age of 48 I was sitting on a hard metal folding chair for several hours for a class I was taking. That is when the tailbone pain really started. It seemed to get better after a couple of months. Prior to the metal chair incident I had developed a love for indoor cycling or spinning class. My husband thought the spinning was causing me pain. I did have to quit spinning because of the tailbone pain.

I tried all the usual ways to relieve the pain when sitting from the inflatable doughnuts to the coccyx cushion and sitting on my sides or thighs instead of directly on the butt. Driving became painful. I could not sit for any length of time. The pain would get worse as the day progressed. Over the counter pain medication did nothing to help. The pain became chronic after 10 months I finally went to the doctor. X-rays were ordered of my coccyx, and pelvis both came back normal. I was put on Celebrex, an anti-inflammatory medication. Then I had the usual Cat Scans and MRI exams all normal. My next step was an orthopedic doctor which lead to trying steroid injections into the coccyx under fluoroscopy for pain relief. The injection only gave temporary relief on the surface from the local given. As soon as the local wore off the pain was back. I was prescribed Darvocet-N for my pain.

I started doing research online myself and I found I learned of the importance of Standing and Sitting x-rays. I mentioned them to my doctor and he ordered the Standing & Sitting Coccyx x-rays. This specialized x-ray revealed my problem. I have an unstable coccyx with some degenerative arthritic changes. My tailbone moves upwards 40 degrees when I sit. Normal is about 20 degrees. My orthopedic doctor did not specialize in Coccygectomy surgery. I used this website to find the closest doctor for me in Charlotte, North Carolina Dr. Ed Hanley (see Doctors and specialists in the USA, North Carolina). I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Hanley. He looked at my records and films and did a physical exam. I was scheduled for the surgery a couple of months later almost a year and a half since the onset of my pain. My surgery was performed on out patient basis. I went home the same day. The pain post surgery was impressive but controlled with medication. Most of my recovery was spent laying on my sides. I did not sit for 6 weeks. I had good old fashioned sutures that were removed at 3 weeks. The pain after surgery was definitely different from Coccyx pain. It was a surgical pain that is got better every day. Nothing like the chronic aching pain I had before surgery.

I at 4 weeks I noticed a small hole at the bottom of my suture. I was told that it could take anywhere from 3 weeks to a year for the hole to close. I have to be very careful not to get infection until this hole closes. It is now 6 weeks and the hole is getting smaller but still there. I am able to sit for short periods of time in certain chair types. I only feel pain if I over do it for the day and then just take Tylenol. The hole soon closed up in a couple more weeks.

AT 3 MONTHS: Live is normal again. On occasion there is discomfort if I sit for extended periods of time. But other than that everything is good again.

6 MONTHS LATER: Life is wonderful I am pain free and so glad that I had this surgery. The recovery was long and a little tough but worth it for a life that is now pain free. If you know you have a mechanical problem like hypermobility surgery is definitely the way to go.

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