X-ray showed I broke my entire coccyx off

Chris - bartlettcs@hotmail.com

Posted 2010-03-14

Hi. My name is Chris and this is my story so far. On Jan 3, 2010, I went sledding with my wife and sons. On my last run down a hill, we hit a small bump which projected us in the air. Naturally, I wrapped my arms around my 2 1/2 year old son to protect him. I came straight down on my butt and instantly was in severe pain, likely the worst pain I have ever felt. I then had to drive 1 hour home which made the pain worse.

Over the first 4-5 days, all I could do was lay on my back. This was the least painful position. I physically had to "roll" off of the couch before I could stand. Laying on either side and standing caused severe pain. Urinating and defecating also caused severe pain. After those 4-5 days, the pain mildly improved. I then bought a dough-nut pillow which did not help at all. I think it made the pain worse since my tailbone was pressing down on the pack of the pillow. I work as a physician assistant for a GI goup so, unfortunately, I do a lot of sitting when taking patient histories. I was able to get mild relief, when I returned to work, of pain by sitting on our stools with the back of my butt hanging over the edge of the seat.

I talked with an orthopedic surgeon/back surgeon at the hospital when I was doing rounds who told me the classic "there is nothing you can do but wait for 6 months to see if the pain goes away." I waited about 8 weeks and decided to see a chiropractor. He sent me for a sacrum/coccyx AP and lateral x-ray which showed I broke my entire coccyx off and it was sitting an entire bone's width posteriorly. He told me that I will likely be in chronic pain the rest of my life (this was about 10 days ago). He said internal manipulation will not work because there is nothing to hold the coccyx in place and it will return to its current position. He is referring me to another spine surgeon who I have not see yet, but it sounds like this guy really does not want to see me either.

In the mean time, I have been taking high-dose anti-inflammatories with decent relief of my pain. For some reason, these previously did not help, but are helping now. After about 10 weeks now, my only significant pain is when sitting which still makes driving to work difficult. I bought a wedge pillow with a coccyc cut-out, but I really don't think this helps either because you still get pressure on your coccyx from your clothes. I am still optimistic that hopefully I will recover fully, but I have gone ahead and made an appointment with a pain specialist as well.

My biggest fear at this time is that I have to go to a conference in 2 days which requires a 3 hour plane trip. I don't know how I am going to tolerate sitting for the flight as well as sitting for the 42 hour class next week. I will keep you updated with any changes in my condition. I really appreciate this site, knowing I am not the only person out there going through this.

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