My tailbone surgery experience


Posted 2009-01-11

After several years of worsening pain when I sit down, I started seeking medical help for my pain. I would get sore for several days after operating my riding lawn mower. The first doctor I saw, said I had a fractured tail bone. This turned out to be not true. I did however have a displaced tail bone. I was first referred for injections and told that surgery was an option depending on the results of the injections. The first injections worked great for 5 months, after which the pain returned. I had a second set of injections which worked for 3 months. At this time I did not want any more injections so I asked to be referred to a surgeon. Turns out that here in Vermont, there are no surgeons who will remove tail bones. The spine center doctors told me that I had no other options other than the injections so I started researching the Internet for my self. I found this website and found out about Dr. Bernini at Dartmouth New Hampshire (see Doctors and specialists in the USA, New Hampshire). This was only one hour away so I was greatly relieved. As it turned out, Dr. Bernini is a very popular Orthopedic Surgeon with a long wait to see him. But tail bone removal is one of his specialties and I had no other options, so I endured the pain and waited. Fortunately Advil made my pain tolerable. but I was no longer able to go on long car rides and was having to let someone else cut the grass with the riding mower. The pain was getting worse.

After waiting 6 months for an appointment, Dr. Bernini did a very complete exam and unfortunately for me, he found that I had a pilonidal cyst flare up on this very day. Rotten luck for me. I then was hoping that the cyst was my problem all along and thought maybe I would not need the surgery. Dr Bernini insisted that the cyst be removed first so I return to a general surgeon to have the cyst removed. I then went back for a second visit with Dr. Bernini and this time he agreed that I was a good candidate for the surgery. I was very relieved. He advised me that the surgery was very basic and only took 30 minutes.

On Dec 5, 2008, I had the surgery while under general anesthesia. It went very well. Dr. Bernini uses stitches on the inside which do not need removal and uses a medical super glue to close the incision. I went home the same day, sitting in the car for the one hour ride home. I'm sure I was well drugged, and had very little discomfort. I was given a prescription of Oxycodone, but it made me feel sick so I only took it once and gave it up. I took Advil twice a day for about 2 weeks. After 2 days my wife changed my dressing and believe it or not, the bandage was totally clean. We did not put a new bandage on since there was no drainage and every thing was very clean and dry. By the 3rd day, I was sitting in my recliner as long as it was reclined, and I was able to sit on regular chairs as long as I sat sort of forward. The surgery was literally a piece of cake. I was driving short trips in less than a week. At was back to full time work one week after the surgery. It's not comfortable to sit back for long periods of time, but it has been 30 days and I am in less pain now than I was prior to the surgery. On day 10, I was healing so well that it was difficult to tell where the incision started and ended. My incision was dead center between my butt cheeks, and not off to either side. I now sit in any chair available and after 15 or 20 minutes, I do get uncomfortable, so I still use a tail bone pillow to help provide extra comfort, or sit forward to relieve pressure on my tail bone region.

If anyone who is planning to have this surgery with a surgeon who is not routinely doing this procedure, it might be helpful to for your surgeon to consult with Dr. Bernini at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Dartmouth New Hampshire. Feel free to contact me if I can help in any way.

Marc Gregoire

What is coccydynia? | Investigation and diagnosis | Treatment | Coping with coccyx pain | Find a doctor or specialist

Medical papers | Personal experiences | Links to other sites | Support groups | Site map