Manipulation under anesthetic

Michelle, UK, 22 years

Posted 2015-11-01

January 2015 I sat down on the sofa and remember thinking oh my gosh that hurt. For the next couple of weeks I didn't think anything of it, I thought it may have just been an injury from the gym. The pain was getting worse and I was unable to sit straight or even comfortably go from sitting to standing. I knew something was seriously wrong. I could feel a lump between my bum cheeks and panicked. I made an emergency appointment with the doctor after googling my symptoms which I should NOT have done. He said my coccyx with inflamed and to take anti inflammatory tablets and I will be fine.

A month later February 2015 I attended the doctors four times and explained my symptoms were getting worse and I was getting seriously bad pains down my leg to the point my foot would go numb. The doctor informed me I had sciatica and I would just have to live with the pain and learn how to manage it. By this point I had tried naproxen which really hurt my stomach and also given some more strong pain killers.

After suffering for one month and the pain getting worse I was going out of my mind. I could actually pinpoint the exact point which was painful. It hurt to sit, it hurt to go from sitting to standing, it hurt to lie down and it hurt to roll over in bed.

My life was getting turned upside down, it really was. I stopped going to the gym which I loved and I had a job where I spent 12 hours a day on my feet and could not afford to take time off.

March came along and I headed back to the doctors with no change and just feeling sick with the amount of tablets. I insisted on seeing someone and I didn't care who! I then got sent for an MRI scan.

The MRI scan results came back 'satisfactory' and stated my coccyx was angulated towards my pelvis but this could be considered as normal. I was devastated! I just needed someone to help me. I insisted to see the report and could not believe my eyes. Why wasn't anything showing?

I took this as bible and attempted to carry on with my life in pain. I spent nights crying and spent night after night lying on the floor!

My parents contacted an osteopath in March/ April who I couldn't thank any more for his efforts. He explained what he thought I had done after doing an examination and I explained about my MRI scan. My pelvis was slightly higher on one side and my muscles were extremely tense, this may have been done through the gym. He explained he believed that my coccyx was slightly out of line.


This was relief in itself. I attended twice a week even three times a week on my bad weeks. He helped give my back relief and helped every time I got sciatica. But yet the pain in my coccyx just wasn't getting any better. This didn't just ruin my life but I made my family's life hell. This was due to the worry of not knowing what was wrong with me and not knowing how or if I was ever going to be out of pain.

I again went back to the doctors in April and explained nothing was helping and I needed help. The 'doctor' in his exact words said to me "if we haven't found anything wrong with you then there must not be anything wrong. It must all be up here *tapping his head*"

I was in bits! I would never ever lie about my health & why would I make up this pain? I have never suffered with panic attacks but this just ran through my mind. was it all in my head was I going mad!

June 2015 I was on holiday with my family and I couldn't relax. The pain was unreal. I couldn't sit down and enjoy anything! I got myself all worked up and I ruined everyone's last few days. I had to stand up on the plane journey home as my pain was just making me feel sick. While I was on holiday I was desperate to get a cure for this pain. I googled every back specialist in the UK and found one in the Cheshire area, Ian Shackleford (see Doctors and specialists in the UK, Cheshire). I emailed him personally and explained my situation. He asked me if I was privately insured or under the NHS. I didn't care how much anything cost but I wasn't privately insured. He told me to insist to my GP to see him at Warrington hospital.

We returned home and the worry caused me to get chest pains and pains down my left arm. I thought I was dying. I didn't sleep for days I felt like my heart was going to pop out of my chest. I couldn't eat or drink. It was at this point I went to the hospital and they believed I had broken my coccyx and I need to be re scanned. He wrote a letter to my doctor and he gave me the exact letter in case 'they didn't receive it' .

I went back to the doctors and insisted I need help and I needed to see someone. I got referred to Warrington before I insisted. I also got put on muscle relaxants at this point as well.

July 2015 I attended Warrington hospital and saw Mr Goru. Prior to going in I was so upset and worrying that there was nothing anyone could do. But he was great!! He got the MRI scan up that I had done in March and he showed me the image and explained that it wasn't satisfactory and in fact I had Coccydynia and my coccyx was broken inwards 90 degrees. He explained it looked 'floppy' but they don't like removing it. So they will try three time internal manipulation and give a local steroid injection.

I was shocked and never been so happy to have broken a bone in my life. He explained I must have fallen to do this damage. Finally relief. The pain now became easier to live with.

September 2015 preop.

10 months later.... After I had been called a liar

28th October 2015 operation day!

The nurses were brilliant and the operation ran smoothly. The day after which is today. I feel extremely bruised and its sore to lie and sit down but I am soooooo happy I may be fully fixed!

I will keep you updated on the results! Who knows if it's worked but at least someone has helped me at last. But all I have to say is I would not want anyone to go through the mental or physical pain. Insist on seeing a specialist, insist on help!

I hope this helps someone and gives them piece of mind. Good luck!

Updated 2017-11-05

My coccyx had caused me pain for four years and I hopefully finally on the road to full recovery. It has been a long and emotional journey.

On 30th March 2017 I had my coccyx removed. Finally. My consultant was fabulous and so positive. I had the majority of my coccyx removed and the rest shaved away. They left the ligaments in in the hope it becomes normal for me one day.

Waking up from my surgery was like waking up in a nightmare. I have never felt pain like it. I was dosed up with morphine and my consultant came to see me straight away. He held my hand and told me that my back was in an absolute state. Due to my coccyx being hyper mobile it had torn all my muscles and due to this happening for three years it caused a mess. He had to repair the muscles and reattach ligaments. The operation took a lot longer than expected.. He told me I was going to be in agony for months however he said I will beat this and be pain free one day. My wound had been stitched internally and glued externally.

I stayed in hospital for a night and was sent out the next day in agony and not very well. I was on morphine for two months. I could hardly move. I was in agony doing everything. Rolling over in bed was the worst!!! I'd find myself waking up on my back in tears.

It's safe to say this journey has been awful. My wound wouldn't heal and I had four nasty infections. 17 weeks after my op my wound finally healed.

My after care was shocking. I have later found out you shouldn't bend, sit or move for at least 6 weeks! Ensure you rest rest rest! It's painful and nasty but it will be worth it.

I started to get pain in my groin and hip. This is due to nerve damage and seems pretty normal in a lot of women that's had this procedure.

I'm now 7 months post op and back at work and trying to live my life like normal.

I am still in so much pain but I'm not letting this stop my life. My MRI scan has shown inflammation and a slow recovery which is normal due to how serious my case was. I have got an estimated recovery of 2 years. I find driving causes me to be in the worst pain and find myself in tears driving home from work. It's so hard to explain to people my pain as many of you understand. I feel like people think I'm just being soft as this has been going on forever but it isn't an easy recovery and does take time.

I won't let this pain get the best of me and I will be pain free. It's just pain killers and taking it easy but building myself back up for now.

I will keep you updated and any tips I have.

Good luck to those waiting for surgery.

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