Rubber bands expand in a frustrating sigh

Almost a month ago, I made an entry saying that I’d been having trouble sitting, and was diagnosed as having a subluxated coccyx (dislocated tailbone). I had a lot of issues getting an appointment with the pain management doc (referrals not getting faxed, etc) so I wasn’t able to see her until last Wednesday. At the appointment, she asked a lot of questions, went over my medical history, etc. She also mashed on my tailbone to see the area of the pain and I could barely sit the rest of the day from the increased pain because of that. It’s been worse since then, and the painkillers are just barely working any more.

The course of action recommended by the pain doctor is to have a corticosteroid injection into my tailbone; kind of similar to what I have to do with my knees on a regular basis. There is a big difference though – with the knees, the doctor can do the injection right then and there and I’m on my way. With a steroid injection in the tailbone, though, they actually have to put me under general anesthesia to knock me out for the procedure. They’ll then use x-rays to help pinpoint the exact location, and use that to guide the injection. I am having this procedure done on Thursday at noon; and afterwards I’m headed home to sleep the rest of the day away. Mom is taking the whole day off work to play chauffeur for me.

Yesterday, I had my appointment with the orthopedist about my tailbone. After I finally found his office (the stupid insurance co had the wrong address listed online), I didn’t have to wait very long to get in to see him. I liked that quite a bit. First I met with his PA, and she did the interviewing and she decided they were going to do x-rays on me, since I didn’t have the original ones my main doc had done. They have their own x-ray equipment and technicians in-house, so that didn’t take long at all to do.

After the x-rays, the doctor came in to meet with me. He showed me on the x-rays where the dislocation was – it’s just the very tip of my coccyx that is out of place. He said that it actually looked like it was arthritic, which would contribute to this problem. I had no idea that you could get arthritis of the coccyx, but it is a joint, so it makes sense. So I have arthritic knees and an arthritic ass. Haha. Anyway, he went over the treatment options with me, and the thing he suggested as the first line of treatment is the very procedure that I’m having on Thursday. I’m also supposed to continue on my current weight loss plan, since getting the extra weight off will help all of my joints. I bought this nice soft comfy coccyx cushion at Brookstone, using the pillow was of course another suggestion. He said that any kind of surgical procedure (i.e. to remove the tip of the tailbone) would be the very, very last resort because those type of surgeries don’t have a high success rate, and the area is also more prone to infections. So, for now I’m to get this shot, and hope like hell that it helps. If not, I’m supposed to try getting another 2-4 shots before going back in to see him to talk about more drastic measures.

The really cool part of the visit – the doctor had print outs of the x-rays and he let me keep them. They’re not the best, since they’re print outs, but it’s still cool. I tried to scan them last night, but we had issues getting the scanner set up. So, I took a couple snapshots of them on my digital camera. Since the x-ray is all greyscale, those ended up slightly dark, so I went in and edited them, outlining the different bones in yellow. Haha. I’m going to tuck them under a cut, so if you’re interested in seeing the x-ray, you can.

The small piece on the bottom towards the left of the image is the dislocated tip. It is actually supposed to be up against the other bone. It’s pretty obvious in that image that the bone definitely isn’t where it belongs and that’s why I’m in so much pain.

But, just for extra comparison, the drawing below is pretty much how a normal coccyx should line up. And mine definitely doesn’t look like that.

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