Coccygectomy performed September 2012 in Arizona


Posted 2013-03-17

I've waited a while before posting anything about my surgery, in the hopes that I would be able to say I was 100% better. While I cannot say that I am completely free from tailbone pain, I can say that I do not regret my decision to have a Coccyxectomy (I had two segments removed) and feel I have anywhere from a 60 to 70% improvement, depending on the day. While I am not pain free, I can sit longer than I was able to sit prior to surgery. Another benefit from the surgery is that I can finally sleep on my back (I was unable to do so at all prior to surgery).

If you have tailbone pain and you live in the Phoenix metropolitan area, I would recommend my doctor, Dr. Garrett (see Doctors and specialists in the USA, Arizona). My journey to get to Dr. Garrett was long I saw several spin pain management specialists (I had several cortisone shots that did nothing for the pain), a physical therapist (painful PT which did not help whatsoever) and even a colorectal specialist. The colorectal doctor also tried to manipulate my tailbone without success. (My tailbone was actually sticking out of my back.) The plus in seeing the colorectal specialist was that he referred me to Dr. Garrett at Barrow Neurosurgical Associates. (I had tried twice before to get into BNA but was told by the people that answered the phone that there was nothing that could be done for the tailbone so no doctors at BNA would see me.)

Dr. Garrett is one of the finest doctors I have ever seen bar none. His level of professionalism is remarkable. He displays a sincere desire to help his patients. I never felt rushed by Dr. Garrett he took his time going through my MRIs; he listened to my concerns; and he replied to my questions in a non-condescending manner.

Because a Coccyxectomy is not done frequently (Dr. Garrett had only done one prior to my surgery), Dr. Garrett researched the surgery, discussed the best options with the team at Barrows and even consulted with a doctor in CA that was supposed to be an expert in tailbone removal. Dr. Garrett went above and beyond before the surgery and did the same after the surgery. He followed-up with me beyond the traditional one visit after surgery and spent time talking to me and my husband about options to help with the pain I continued to have after the surgery. Dr. Garrett is truly a blessing. I believe you have to be referred to BNA to be able to see a doctor there, but if you've exhausted all other means in trying to fix your tailbone, I would wholeheartedly suggest you try to see Dr. Garrett.

Regarding the surgery itself, there is a level of pain after the surgery (the first three weeks are the worse), but I was able to stop taking pain killers after two weeks (I had reduced the amount I took each day up to two weeks.) Dr. Garrett used Dermabond rather than stitches, a smart move. I had no problem with infection.

I lived with tailbone pain for over a year before the surgery. That meant standing all day long and lying on my hips at night when I could no longer stand. This caused problems with my hips and I ended up having cortisone shots in my hip to try to help with that pain. Don't wait so long if you find yourself standing and unable to lie on your back or else you might end up with the same problem.

I currently use a product called Capsaicin on my tailbone area to help with the residual pain. It burns at first, but you build up a tolerance and frankly, the burning from the Capsaicin is more tolerable than the pain from the tailbone. I still am confident that my tailbone pain will go away completely.

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