Developed a very nasty infection after coccygectomy, but no regrets now

Eve, UK -

Posted 2018-12-09

So my journey started a few years ago after getting thrown from a horse and landing full whack on my left bum cheek. I have never experienced so much pain and bruising in my life.

I duly got taken to the hospital where I was told it was only bruised, no x-rays no examination, no anything. I then spent the next few weeks working out how to sit down, I couldn't drive, couldn't work and was due to go on holiday abroad. I went to the doctors on 4-occasions complaining of the immense pain and I was eventually told "x-rays give you cancer, what would you rather?". I was then shoved out the door with some pain pills.

After what can only be described as the worst holiday ever I finally managed to get an appointment with my own GP, I hobbled in, didn't sit, and he turned and looked at me and said "I know what you've done" – I could have fainted there and then! He sent me for urgent x-rays at the local hospital and 2-days later he received a call and I was urgently called back in. Thank goodness I have private medical insurance. I immediately had a "one-stop" appointment with the back specialist, a consultation, followed by a MRI, followed up with the diagnosis 2-hours later and low and behold I had fractured my coccyx, my sacrum, a lower vertebrae and an upper one. Firstly I was told how lucky I was that I wasn't paralysed and secondly he couldn't believe how I'd been left. The top of my leg had gone numb and mores to the point I'd lost bladder sensation, so unless I made the conscious effort to go every couple of hours I would have been in a whole heap of trouble.

Ever since the diagnosis I have been back and forth having manipulation of the coccyx, injections, you name it I have tried it.

Last year, whilst being away I had another stupid fall whilst getting into a hot tub and I landed legs akimbo right on my coccyx, in that very instance I knew it was bad! It was so bad that In fact I passed out several times through the pain – so embarrassing especially whilst trying to eat dinner in a restaurant with friends and having to be dragged out the whole length of the restaurant by 2 of them!

On my return I went back to my GP and after seeing the latest lot of damage he referred me privately onto another spinal surgeon near to where I live, Mr Adam Way (see Doctors and specialists in the UK, Surrey). He had to perform the steroid injections around the coccyx area to ensure that any further surgical option would be viable. 2-months later and being pain free once the injections kicked in I was offered the coccyx removal. I went home googled and came upon this site. I did a lot of swotting up on the operations and If id listened to all the horror stories then I really don't think I would have agreed to it.

I had my removal done on the 22nd November last year, and it was great, well I say that, there was the lull until all the local anaesthetic wore off, but either way I was determined to cope with it. Armed with a full war chest of drugs including oramorph and spending what seemed like an eternity lying on my right side on the bed I started to feel rather unwell and had developed a leak. I went to the doctors and saw the practice nurse, she told me that the brown discharge from the wound was all normal, changed the dressing and sent me on my not so merry way. I spoke to the consultant who then had me back to see a nurse at the hospital, she swabbed the wound, redressed me and sent me home to wait for the results, but she didn't think that there was much of an infection….Well indeed I had developed a very nasty infection, I returned to the consultant and at this point in time any pressure I put slightly on the left bum cheek literally caused the wound to spurt out. On the 15th December I was readmitted for a further operation to clean the wound and surrounding infection, which I was told was a very nasty one. I then spent the following 4-weeks on a huge combination of antibiotics to try and get rid of it – only I would be allergic to penicillin!

So here I am almost a year on, and if you were to ask me do I regret having the operation, my simple answer is NO! It was the best thing I have ever had done despite the infection. Yes that knocked me back in my recovery, but my life has changed considerably. Yes I still get aches and the tightening of a few muscles in the cheek and I have a jazzy nerve now in the bum cheek which developed after the surgery, but I've just had a small procedure carried out on that, but being 100% honest I'd do it all over again. I don't have to stand there with my bum clenched for fear of relaxing the coccyx which was absolute agony, I can sit down, I don't wriggle around like id got ants in my pants, do have the odd shuffle just to make sure I'm totally comfortable but it's still early days in reality. I do struggle walking uphill and upstairs as it does still pull a bit but, but it really has had a huge positive impact on my life. Can't say I'll ever be as athletic as Mo Farrah but I am me now and I like the new me.

This operation really was the game changer that I needed and I do believe that if you fully research the operation and surgeon and you have literally tried everything else possible then you should absolutely consider it.

I just hope that just one person who reads my story can take something positive from it, and please if anyone wants to email me then please do.

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