Coccyx pain after spinal fusion

Susan -

Posted 2009-02-08

In October 2006 I had a spinal fusion (L4/L5 and L5/S1), about 2 months later my tailbone issues began. At first I just assumed that it had to do with the surgery. Finally in May 2007 I had an x-ray done, it showed that my tailbone was broke/dislocated. At that time the radiologist stated that it had most likely occurred during child birth, my youngest child is 18 years old, so this was certainly not a new injury. I'm not sure why it started to bother me after back surgery, perhaps the fusion placed the tailbone in a different position. The tailbone pain was extremely intense, not only did it hurt to sit, but moving from the standing to sitting position or sitting to standing was extremely painful. It hurt to sleep on my back because it applied pain to my tail bone and when I would sleep on my side the tailbone would move freely and be very painful. Sleeping on my stomach was not an option because of my back surgery and on going back issues.

My doctor referred me to a pain management specialist who gave me a series of cortisone injections in the tailbone area, which did not help at all. I then went to a physical therapist who specializes in the pelvic area. This therapy did not work for me, but seemed to be a possible solution for people who have recent tailbone injuries.

I then started the search for a surgeon who could help me, this was almost as painful as the tailbone issue itself. After contacting more than 40 ortho surgeons in the Sacramento, CA. area I finally found Dr. Khasigian (see Doctors and specialists in the USA, California). I used the list of questions from the website to determine if Dr. Khasigian was the right doctor for me. He stated that he performs about 2-3 per year and seemed very knowledgeable and comfortable with the procedure.

In October 2008 I had the coccygectomy. Dr Khasigian stated that it was the worst tailbone he had seen. In addition to removing the portion that was broke/dislocated he also had to chisel off a portion of the bone that remained, because it stuck out too far and was painful when I sat. With in days I could feel a huge improvement. While it still hurt to sit, it no longer hurt to move from the sitting to standing position. The pain that I felt prior to surgery due to the broken portion of the tailbone freely moving around was gone. It was still very painful to apply any pressure to the tailbone area so sleeping was a real problem for the first several weeks. My husband made me a donut style cushion for sleeping which helped immensely. It has now been 3 months since my surgery and I no longer need the cushion to sleep. It is still painful in the tailbone area after I've been sitting for awhile.

I'm so glad I had this procedure done. While I'm not pain free in the tailbone area, I can honestly say that it is a heck of a lot better. So if your from the Sacramento, CA. area and your looking for a surgeon who performs this procedure I would recommend Dr. Khasigian.