Post-surgery getting better daily


Posted 2017-05-07

I was so glad to find this site when going through my journey and I am thankful so many of you shared. I am a 37 year female living in the U.S., I broke my tail bone in April of 2016 in a very embarrassing way. I actually sat on the toilet lid as it was closing and it caught just under my tailbone and broke it pointing it 90 degrees towards my bowel. (I did not know this at the time.) It was very painful BUT I was under the impression not much can be done for a broken tail bone and that it would heal. I dealt with the pain and it did get better every day but not completely.

About 6 months in I mentioned to my OBGYN that it was still causing discomfort when sitting for long periods, he informed me that this was not normal healing. I went to a local spine center and took a few x rays which revealed the bone had reset at the 90 degree angle and was told that is would just have to deal with pain management techniques for life.

I was not going to accept this and went to a better known orthopedic surgeon in Bethesda MD. The surgeon took a look at my x-rays and confirmed it was indeed broken and reset in a way he had never seen and that he was not sure what to do so I was referred to a colon rectal surgeon at John Hopkins medical center. (So thankful to live in Maryland.) I went for my consult at Hopkins and he confirmed the only solution would be to remove the entire tail bone. The pain was not unbearable so I did not try any other treatments at this point. The concern was that if I was to fall again in the future with the angle of my tail bone I could cause serious harm to my bowel.

I decided on the surgery and had it done on April 4th. It was an outpatient surgery but I was having serious nausea from the anesthesia so I stayed for one night for observation. I felt ok for the first 3 days, I didn't even take the pain medication. On day four I woke up feeling terrible pain and later learned the Novocain placed in bones had worn off, needless to say I began pain management narcotics. I was on the couch unable to sit or move much for 2 weeks.

The recovery is worse than I had expected and I was very uncomfortable for the first 2 weeks. The incision site (2 inch slit at the top of my buttocks) is still bleeding a bit but I am told it is normal. I am now able to walk around and sort of drive a car short distances with a special pillow seat. I am 3 weeks post-surgery and getting better daily. Sleep is still painful but I am using a body pillow in between my legs and sleeping on my side fairly well. I do not regret the surgery but I will say the recovery takes time… I am hopeful in a few more weeks I will be feeling much better.

Update, 2018-06-10

It has been just over a year (14 months) since my coccygectomy. I am just about 100%! Occasionally if I sit for long periods, or if I do certain exercise it will tweak the nerves but I assume that will exist forever after any bone surgery. Nothing unbearable at all. The main concern for me was the potential to do further damage the way my bone was positioned, so as long as it's gone I am happy. For about 6 months after the surgery I was still experiencing strange pain on one side of the incision area but was told it was nerve endings and it would heal over time.

I am able to ride bicycles, motorcycles and sit at my desk without much more than a little aching. I am pleased with my outcome.

For reference my doctor was Dr Jonathan Efron at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore (see Doctors and specialists in the USA, Maryland). He is a GI surgeon, I felt comfortable with that because he could address any colon rectal emergencies if they should arise during the surgery.

Good luck to anyone dealing with tail bone pain.

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