Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

newbie-1 yr post ALIF w/lingering coccyx pain

yellowyyellow Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi all,

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 :)


  • Hi from another forum newbie.

    I don't have any advice for you, but wanted to say hey. I hope they figure out how to help.

    I'm the opposite of you. I can sit for long periods (depends on the chair). But standing, walking, I can only handle 10 minutes before agony sets in.

    Good luck!
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i am sorry you have residual pain from your surgery.. i am sure that is a disappointment at best! sitting is something alot of us cannot do so you are not alone there! i wish i had a way to make it better but talking with others who feel as you do really does help! please have a look around the different forums and make yourself at home.. drop by anytime..SH can be a great friend when you are spending time laying down alot! Jenny :)
  • I've done a lot of reading of the info on this site over the last few days. I knew I wasn't alone in this.

    BUT! For the first time, I am having regrets about the surgery (not that I can do anything about it now...). Some. It's not total. Why is it that I jumped and said OK? Was it worth it? Am I dealing with consequences that, in the long run, might be as bad or worse than what I dealt with before? True, I was absolutely, completely miserable before surgery, and I tried alternative therapies, PT, injections, medications, blocks...the whole 29,000 yards for more than 2 years before I relented. Since surgery, the leg pain, weakness, and numbness has mostly resolved (I still have some sciatica, but it is minor compared to before) and I am able to sleep. I can bend over and pick things up, something I could not do before surgery. For all of this I am very, very thankful. But, still, maybe there was something else and perhaps I altered the course for worse by having the fusion. I don't know. But reading all of the stories and experiences and about the truly heartfelt disappointment and frustration that others are experiencing has made me seriously question my decision. I have no idea why.

    I'm at such a loss. Why did I voluntarily do this?

    Sorry, just thinking through typing.

    Thanks again. I'm going to go snuggle with my dog now :-)
Sign In or Register to comment.