Recovering from coccygectomy

Jeni -

Posted 2010-10-03

My name is Jeni, I am 22 years old and I recently had a coccygectomy. My first concern with my tailbone occurred when I gave birth to my first son, at 19 years of age. At my 6 week appointment after having my child, I voiced my trouble with the pain in that region and my ob/gyn told me that I needed to see my regular physician. So I suffered for a few more weeks, not wanting to spend more money seeing another doctor. I gave in and saw my physician. She referred me to physical therapy, where I spent thousands of dollars getting my tailbone adjusted and going through that pain. Also, they did cortosone treatments through an electrode to help with pain management. This helped, but I was so tired of going back and spending more money for it only to last a few days or maybe a week. My physical therapist told me that I would have to live with this pain for probably my whole life, and that surgery would not be covered by my insurance. So I lived with it.

Almost 2 years after the birth of my first son, I gave birth to a second son. I had a few more complications with the childbirth because my tailbone was so deviated that the doctor had to pull him out sideways. He had gotten caught on the coccyx. He told me that in all the years of delivering children, he never had to pull one out sideways. Immediately after the birth of the second son, I experienced the pain again. I went to physical therapy again so that I could be able to function as normally as I could. We got to the maximum cortosone treatments that I could have. I bet I had my tailbone re-aligned at least 20 times. It still did not get rid of the pain.

Again, I suffered for another year. The physician I had been seeing for 3 years left the clinic she was working in to transfer to another clinic. I then saw a doctor I had heard was very knowledgeable. I told him of my pain and he told me my options. After physical therapy only had relief for a short period of time, my next step was to try the cortisone shot. I got that done and was in immense pain the very next day. He then referred me to a general surgeon who had practiced just a few coccygectomies in his 20+ years of surgery. I saw this surgeon, who told me that he was the type of person to have to try the shot himself to realize it just doesn't work. This was not even 2 weeks after the first shot. I got the injection and the pain was so immense, I bawled in the procedure room. He administered 4 more shots of some local anesthetic to help alleviate the pain. The very next day, I could not do anything but stand up very straight or lie down on my stomach. This was the only way I could stand the pain. I called his office for almost a week straight explaining that the pain was still there and not getting any better. They put me on lortab 7.5mg and this barely took the edge off.

My next step was surgery. I was very nervous for this surgery, because the surgeon's staff was not experienced in this type of surgery. Even on the day that I was to have my surgery, no one could tell me exactly what was being done. The surgeon decided to do a spinal on me, kind of like an epidural, and also a sedative to calm me down. I was not under general anesthesia, in fact, the doctor told me that all throughout the surgery, he would be able to talk to me and I would talk back, but not remember it. The recovery from surgery took a lot longer than I expected, because I had to wait until I was able to feel and walk on both legs, just as I had come in that morning. They also put in a long-lasting pain block in my tailbone region so that I could at least stand the ride back home. I made it home safely and was off work for 2 weeks.

It has now been 2 1/2 weeks after surgery and I am still pretty sore. My tailbone had been deviated to the left and forward a smidge. So all the muscles and ligaments that had been attached to the tailbone are not adjusting as well to having nowhere to cling. It is still painful, but not as much as I was expecting. I am looking forward to continue to recover and (hopefully) be able to sit on the floor and play with my 2 munchkins when I am able.

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