My surgery experience

K Eigenheer -

Posted 2009-09-27

In June 2007 I slipped on the stairs of my deck and broke my tailbone. My family physician wouldnít do an x-ray at the time, since she said there wasnít anything she could do for it anyway.

Six months later I had an MRI which showed a healed fracture. During the next two years I did chiropractors, an orthopedist, physical therapy and three steroid injections and one prolotherapy shot through a pain clinic. None of which helped for any amount of time.

My pain was a constant ache. Hurting mostly when getting up from a sitting position.

Itís interesting that during the two years I treat with all these specialists they say surgery is a last option, but sometimes not successful. So when my pain specialist and orthopedist both suggested I consult with a surgeon, I was very skeptical. I had asked for a sitting MRI or x-ray and no one had heard of it or would do it.

Went to see an orthopedic surgeon. Saw Dr. David Polly Jr., Chief of orthopedic surgery at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Without my asking, the first thing he did was a sitting x-ray. The x-ray techs werenít too experienced in this type of x-ray and we did several tries before we got it right. But it showed the tailbone going backwards while I am in a sitting position. He recommended surgery to remove the tailbone. Of course, Dr. Polly stated this isnít a common surgery. Heís done 12-15 in his career, and said I could expect a 70-80% success rate.

I had surgery on August 18, 2009. Iíve had some minor complications like not being able to pee the first day, nausea from the anesthesia and a rash from one of the meds. But nothing significant. I went home late in the day the day after surgery.

Dr. Polly mailed me the surgery report. His findings were that the coccyx was hypermobile and had two parts, both of which he removed. Not exactly certain what the two parts means, Iíll need to ask him at my next appointment.

I was up walking right away. I used a blow dryer on a light setting to dry the wound after a shower. I kept my bottom very clean with wet wipes. The wound was closed up by week three.

I am five weeks post op. I am doing extremely well so far. The pain has been completely manageable. I take 2 Aleve in the morning and use vicodin in the evening. I am back to my 3 mile walks, but no running. And I still need to take a nap almost every day. When I overdo it, itís not just my bottom that hurts, I get backaches. I am thinking about seeing a physical therapist to help strengthen my back.

I have been sitting up to two hours now, but not comfortably. I still always use my "tush cush" and that does help.

I have been unemployed for over a year and seriously need to get back to work. Iím just not sure how much sitting I can physically handle.

So five weeks after surgery, I can say I am glad that I did the surgery. But as of yet, I am not better than before the surgery.

Good Luck to All

K Eigenheer

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