Coccyx pain and removal by Dr. Coggins

Angie, USA -

Posted 2014-06-08

I am 46 years old and have lived with tailbone pain since I was 5 years old. I remember the accident vividly. Swinging and the seat of my swing broke free of the chain on one side and sent me sailing through the air to land on an exposed limestone rock. Lucky me, there was another smaller rock resting on top of it and that is where I landed. My parents picked me up dusted me off and assured me that I was just fine. I was, I just had a sore bottom. Through the next several years I experienced pain when sitting for long periods of time and finally at the age of 12 I had an x-ray and the Ortho told my mom that yes, my tailbone was curved under further than it really should be but not to worry it would be fixed during childbirth. Live with it until you start a family. Ok. I can do that. Two C-sections later I am still experiencing tailbone pain.

Fast forward another 21 years. My pain has gotten to the point that it is a problem with everyday activities. During a visit with my GP I asked if there was anything that could be done and was told carry a pillow to sit on because there really isn't anything that can be done for your pain. I insisted and was given a referral to see a spine doctor. Dr. Coggins (see Doctors and specialists in the USA, Virginia) did an x-ray and said that my coccyx was pointing off to the right. My treatment options were to have a block to see if it would relieve my pain and if the block was successful I was a good candidate for surgery.

October 2013 I received my block. It lasted for about 6 months. Back to Dr. Coggins and I signed up for surgery. I have to say I was scared to death after reading all the horror stories on this page! However, I listened to Dr. Coggins who assured my that everything would be just fine.

May 7, 2014 my surgery was scheduled for 1 p.m. Surgery lasted about 1 1/2 hour. I woke in recovery with minor discomfort. After an additional antibiotic IV drip I was discharged at 5:30 pm. Yes, my surgery was an out patient procedure! My husband drove me home fed me some chicken soup, fed me some pain meds and tucked me into bed. I have now learned that my system does not tolerate narcotics. No rest for me and it didn't really do anything for the pain that was still minimal at this point. Also, the pain meds slowed down my system to the point that I had difficulty going to the bathroom. I only used the prescription pain meds for 2 days. After I was wide awake for 2 days in a row I decided that I could live with just using Tylenol for the little pain that I was experiencing.

So, first day after surgery my husband hangs around to make sure I am comfortable on the couch with remote in hand and he returns to work. Getting up and down was a challenge for the first couple of days and I spent a lot of time laying. All my stitches are internal and my external incision was glued. My incision has opened up but my husband checks it daily to make sure everything looks ok. At my 2 week visit with Dr. Coggins my incision was open just a little and he was not at all concerned. Just told me to make sure it stayed clean and that if there was any drainage to call the office. All is well at this time. Dr. Coggins also told me that the tip of my coccyx was broken. Apparently this is not common given the size of the bones and how they are connected together. I was also told that it was mobile so the source of my pain was the fact that when I sat down the coccyx would move around.

It has been 3 weeks since my surgery. I returned to work 1 week after my surgery. I am a bookkeeper and spend most of my days sitting. I used a pillow on my office chair and I was also able to use a standing keyboard tray for a day or two but for the most part I have been sitting on my office chair since returning to work. I only use a pillow now when driving or riding in the car. Padded furniture is more uncomfortable for me than un-padded (I am sitting in my wooden dining room chair while typing this email with absolutely no pain!) Certain positions will cause pain but for the most part I am very pleased with my progress just 3 weeks in.

A few things that I learned from reading all the personal experiences that have proven to be very beneficial include the neck pillow with the microbeads for driving (the coccyx wedge pillow that I purchased is useless!) Also, I started taking a stool softener 2 days before my surgery to insure that I didn't have any issues with bowel movements. That proved to be a smart move. Also, if you don't have one of the tall toilets, it would be a good idea to invest in the raised seat. Getting up and down was somewhat painful the first week.

I am glad that I have had the surgery. I also hope that I continue to progress as quickly as I have so far. I also hope that my story will help someone who else who has been somewhat scared by some of the stories out here. Talk with your doctor and make your decision based on what he or she tells you. Who knows, you could make better, faster progress than I have!


Harrisonburg, VA

Update, 2019-01-06

I guess it has been almost 5 years since my surgery. I am free of any pain. Occasionally if I sit for an extended period of time such as a long flight, I will experience a little discomfort, more like mild soreness. Otherwise, I cannot say anything but good about my experience. I had a great surgeon and would recommend him for treatment.

I have had a family member fall on ice and break her back and Dr. Coggins was her doctor. She and her husband were impressed with him for her treatment as well.

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