Coccygectomy and recovery in Australia

Alise, Australia -

Posted 2014-06-14

I'm from Perth WA. My story seems similar to many. Coccyx pain for two years. Visited two doctors who advised me to have an x-ray. Both came back normal. There was nothing they could do. Prescribed me pain killers which didn't work and I didn't like the idea of taking meds every day so I put up with it. I researched coccyx pain as no one knew what was wrong. It was as if no one except my family believed me. I became depressed and stopped exercising. I took off a few months work to try and fix my coccyx pain.

Visited two chiropractors, had acupuncture, visited a neurosurgeon, physio and even had a very unpleasant internal adjustment. Nothing helped.

Waited months to get in to see a spine specialist, another MRI. He told me there was nothing wrong with my coccyx and suggested injections. He didn't even examine me. Couldn't get in to his pain specialist for three months.

Found my own great pain specialist Dr Hanzah in Subiaco who was able to tell me I had coccydinia after an examination. Now I had a name for it. After both injections I was pain free for a day before the pain started to come back. Not as bad as before but painful all the same. At least this confirmed the coccyx was the issue.

Somehow in my research I stumbled across an Orthopaedic Surgeon in Subiaco. (Ill give his name if he gives me permission) I'm so happy I found him. He listened, took time to look at my MRI and x-rays and actually believed me. He even found it was had an old fracture and was slightly out. He did explain the risks involved. For the first time there was hope.

I had a coccygectomy two weeks ago. Surgery went well and I woke up with minimal pain due to the anaesthetic. They had me on Fentanyl which gave me a horrific headache and nausea. They changed me to Targin and a low dose of hydromorphone. That worked for a few days.

I'm currently on a stronger dose of both but the pain is terrible. It feels like I have a fifty kilo weight attached to the wound and my buttocks. And it is so painful in everything I do. I'm spending most of my time laying on my sides in bed watching DVDs and reading. My hips and outer thighs are now painful and I'm experiencing immense cramps. I also do have a slight infection. I think it is because I kept the waterproof padding on. I didn't take it off to dry it and let it breathe. I thought that was what I was meant to do. I was told to leave it on as long as I can. I'm on antibiotics for it now.

So I guess I'm asking for advice regarding pain medications and what to do re pain and how to get through this. I thought after two weeks it would be getting better but I can hardly move. The pain is worse now than before. It is a different pain to pre op so that's positive. I do believe I made the right choice and know I will be pain free in the future but I've just hit a small hurdle.

Thanks in advance


Update, 2014-07-20

Hi. I just wanted to put up an update. I'm six weeks post op now. I was re-admitted back into hospital for a few days to get the pain sorted. I was so lucky to be with private health insurance as my hospital was amazing.

So got the pain under control but the infection took a bit longer to get under control. I also had massive reaction to the bandages. So I was itchy and sore at the same time. Luckily I have the most wonderful caring mother who looked after me and she tended to my wound every day.

Back when I wrote my first piece four weeks ago I couldn't see it getting better but now its much better. No more dressings or strong medications, only if it gets a bit much. Its tender, sore and still very bruised and I have to be careful. But I'd do it all again in a second. The initial excruciating constant pain has gone. I have a way to go but I feel like a new person and so positive about the future.

Don't give up or let anyone tell you there is nothing wrong. I remember being told several times there was nothing that could be done. Just keep searching till you find someone.

Make sure you rest and give the wound time to heal. Use wet toilet wipes and eat very healthy. Research and find a doctor who can help. I found a wonderful surgeon in Dr Baddour who helped me. Best thing I ever did.

Update, 2018-10-21

Its been a few years since my op. Best thing I ever did.

I'm pain free except if I sit too long in a particular position on a hard chair. But once I move the small amount of pain is gone.

I would recommend the op to anyone. It is a long healing time but it is worth it in the end.

Your website was so helpful when I was going through my op. So thank you for taking the time to help other people. I was told so many times there was nothing wrong.


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