Coccyx removal - scare stories abound, but my experience was well worth it so far

Ig, London, UK -

Posted 2014-05-11

Like a lot of people here I experienced bad coccyx pain for years, I suspected it was a result of a serious car accident 25 years ago. Couldn't sit for more than 10 minutes without spasms of pain, driving was getting progressively worse, long haul flights intolerable.

Not happy with that diagnosis as I had no relief, I started looking on the web for advice, found this site, and found a surgeon on the list here, Mr John Hardy based in Bristol (see Doctors and specialists in the UK, London and Bristol) who specialises in coccyx injury. We initially had the cortisol injection to the coccyx done but it did not achieve anything (as he expected) due to a severely angulated tailbone, however this is the first course of action and as a diagnostic process is very useful. He then suggested removal as the only viable option, due to the severity of the angulation in my case (sometimes further injections can work apparently).

I did a lot of reading on coccyx removal and have to admit was seriously put off by the experiences of some, and a lot of misinformation generally on the web. To the point where yesterday going into the Cromwell Hospital in London, I almost bailed out, going half crazy with anxiety about the finality of this procedure- let's face it, it's an amputation. No going back.

So - the procedure itself. Mr Hardy has conducted hundreds of these, and he explained very thoroughly what would happen. I read on wikipedia for example that muscle attachment is required to prevent sagging of the pelvic floor- not true. Mr Hardy's procedure involves carefully carving out the coccyx bone only, there is no need at all apparently to be cutting into any surrounding muscles. I was out of surgery after about an hour and a half. Woke up with overall dull pain (like someone had kicked me hard in the rear) but was well managed with pain relief, so sat in bed most of the afternoon dozing, to return home last night.

Yes is sore and tender one day on, but to be perfectly honest, nowhere near what I expected or had read about. With pain relief, it is more an irritation as opposed to agonising pain, and completely tolerable. We saw after removal that my coccyx was extremely arthritic, and he was pleased we removed it, it was obvious why I was having so much pain sitting down.

There is obviously some good information out there also- to me the most crucial would be to see a surgeon who has done this procedure many times, has depth of experience, and knows what they're doing. I cannot recommend Mr Hardy highly enough, for anyone in the UK seeking treatment.

I expect to be tender for some time and have to take the normal precautions; have been advised to not sit for the next week, and be careful to avoid infection. He expects I will back to normal within months.

I have left my email address for anyone to contact, would be happy to share my experiences if it helps. Am very thankful to this site for pointing me in the right direction, this rare problem is not something anyone should have to put up with, and I did read somewhere else that many surgeons who are not experienced with this have a habit of dismissing the problem, which I found very true in my case originally- so don't settle for that!

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