Coccyx removed 17 October 2016, no success with other treatments

Sally, UK -

Posted 2016-11-13

My pain started 2/2013 with no apparent reason. The treatments I tried are:

* 7 steroid injections/manipulation under general anaesthetic. Prior to this I had MRI and CT scans with no abnormalities found. The pain worsened for 10 days then reduced to an acceptable level for 2 months.

* 1 ganglion impar block which had no effect.

* Self manipulation as described by Brenda 03-06-08 on this site. This worked for about three days.

* Chiropractic treatment at Sayer Clinic London (see Doctors and specialists in the UK, Londom). 5 consecutive treatments with internal manipulation then 1 hour physio after each treatment. Treatment then every two months for a year. No effect.

* Osteopathy and then Acupuncture for a month each - no effect.

Coccygectomy 17/10/16

I gave it so much thought but had no other option but to go ahead. I prepared by stocking up on laxatives, gentle wet wipes for cleaning the wound and I also had an air bed which I bought on a holiday which has proved to be invaluable!!! I was in hospital overnight and returned home laid flat in the car which was fine as I had plenty of painkillers. The surgeon said my coccyx was quite mobile.

End of week 1

This was the worst week. Awful pain when turning in bed. My fault entirely because I was concerned about constipation, so did not have as much pain relief as I should have! I was fine stood up, but turning over in bed was so painful. Laying down was difficult but once I was settled and still I was fine. No constipation problems as lots of laxatives and the toilet did not need raising (best place to sit). Pain level 9.5/10 (when turning in bed or any movement trying to move from laying to standing vice versa.

End of week 2

Dressings removed at day 10. All fine. I could actually turn over in bed much easier. Pain level down 7.5/10.

End of week 3

Managed to sit at a table using a neck cushion, the type used for air travel with the open bit to the back. I have a cushion on the table to lean my elbows on to take the weight off the wound area. I can perch like this for meals.

At the end of this week I find I can actually lie in bed on my back for 5 minutes!! Pain level 7/10.

I have good days and bad days if I do too much but I am seeing a little improvement each week.

Update, 2016-12-18

I have now seen my consultant for my post op check at 7 weeks. I mentioned that I am having pain to the right side of the surgery site and he thinks this is due to internal stitches. He advises that it can take 3 months before these heal properly and has booked me back in to see him in February.

My journey to the hospital was 45 minutes and I sat on a coccyx cushion on the front seat but the journey was quite painful towards the end so for the return journey I laid flat which was more comfortable.

I can now sit on a hard chair with a thin cushion and type this at my desktop computer - I am fine as long as I am sitting completely upright and can have meals sat like this too. I can lie flat normally without pain. Leaning back is not an option right now so I will have to wait and be patient until my check up in February when I will update again. Feel free to email and I will try my best to help.

Update, 2017-04-23

Update 6 months post op

I am now 6 months post op. It has been a very long and difficult time managing work and being in so much pain. The old sitting to standing pain was still present and I have been so low and very worried, as I assumed the op had not worked. I have had the wonderful support of my husband and friends, without whom I just couldn't have managed.

However, finally last week, I have had a definite big reduction in pain. I have not done anything differently but something has changed!

I can't believe after over four years of excruciating pain, it has eased substantially. I still have pain but it is nothing like it was before. I am hoping this will continue and will update again at 9 months post op. I can now sit on the settee for two hours which is amazing and car journeys are much easier.

I just didn't realise how much awful pain I had been in until now and feel I have got my life back.

Feel free to email and I will do my best to help. Sally

Update, 2018-05-13

I am now 18 months post op and my pain level is about the same as my last update in April last year - but definitely no worse. I am roughly 70% better than before surgery! I still have some right sided pain where the coccyx used to be so I am hopefully arranging to see Mr Hardy in London to ask his opinion of this as soon as I can.

I am able to travel by car, train and plane without the terrible pain I had before the operation. I am so pleased I had this surgery and have no regrets whatsoever. Please feel free to email. Sally

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