I am a 43 yo female who had ALIF of L5-S1 in February 2010. Recovery was...recovery. I did the PT religiously and was able to start back doing run-walk intervals after 3 months (I am a lifelong runner). All throughout last year I had what I thought was residual pain in the sacrum/coccyx to the point where sitting longer than about 20 minutes is a no-go. I really believed it would eventually go away, and that kept me motivated to continue PT on my own and stay active. Well, come December 2010, faced with the need to travel, I found myself back at my physiatrist's office looking for some answers. We ruled out pelvic floor dysfunction and tried an injection @ L4-L5 (I also have an annular tear here and moderate DDD ), but no luck. In late January, the physiatrist told me he could not help me anymore. So I decided that it was up to me (specifically, for my brain) to learn how to deal with the pain. My year follow-up with the surgeon in mid-February confirmed that the fusion is solid. He did not recommend additional surgery. He asked me to try diclofenac for several months (even though the cortisone injection did nothing). The annular tear doesn't look that bad, apparently.
I feel pretty good when I am moving (walking, hiking, easy running on dirt trails) but still find that I cannot sit without pain for more than about 20-30 minutes. This has become a life problem: I stand at my desk at work all day (I take lay-on-the-floor breaks). No movies, no dinners out, no visits to friends' homes. I am tired from standing all the time and cranky because I just want to sit comfortably. Like a normal person. I use a lot of heat and spend a lot of time laying on my back. I have myofascial release weekly. I do not take any other medication.
The physiatrist and surgeon do not have good answers
about why I still have pain. They are genuinely sorry. I do believe they have done all they can do, and while I am angry a lot of the time, I am not angry at them or about the results of the surgery. The docs do have ideas
: could be the L4-L5 disk, or...who knows?
Anyway, I did some searches and found some old threads on coccyx pain but would appreciate other hints on where to find discussions about post surgical pain of this nature. A lot of info to sift through here! I plan to spend some time reading the chronic pain discussions as well. I need all the help I can get to figure out how to make friends with this ugly, angry monster.
Looking forward to spending some time here