I fell hard going down the stairs and broke my tailbone. For years I had pain and I kept hearing I should sit on a doughnut cushion. Finally I could not stand the pain anymore and I bought one. I took it with me everywhere I went and I did not sit down unless I sat on the doughnut cushion. I also got the cortisone injection at the same time. I am sure if I had not used the cushion I would not have improved. It was several months later I noticed the pain got better. It is gone now but if I sit in a certain position I can feel the pressure and it starts to ache.
The procedure usually takes about 30 minutes to complete. Anesthesia is injected into the back of the patient as they are lying face down with a pillow under the hip to provide support and open the vertebrae space for easier insertion. A needle is inserted into the base of the spine directly into the epidural space. Using a fluoroscope to guide the needle, contrast dye is added to confirm placement. Upon placement confirmation, the medicated combination will douse the nerve roots to reduce pain and decrease inflammation so that natural healing can begin. Once the needle is removed, the patient may be in recovery for 45 minutes. Rest for a few days after injection is advised. If a patient experiences pain a day or two after the injection, the anesthesia may have worn off and the steroid has not had time to work. In this case, the physician will prescribe medication until the effects of the epidural steroid injection can be felt. The pain relief can last from one week to one year depending on the patient’s unique set of coccyx pain circumstance.
First, you will have a consultation with the pain specialist. Once he determines that you are a candidate for the injection, he will schedule your procedure. If you are taking any medications, such as blood pressure medications or blood thinners, you will need to discuss this with the doctor to determine whether or not to continue with them prior to the procedure. If you are diabetic, the doctor will need to know that as this injection may cause a rise in blood sugar several days after the procedure. You must have someone with you after the procedure to drive you home. The injection is usually quick, only several minutes for each side. The skin is numbed with a small amount of local anesthetic (lidocaine). Once the numbing medication is given, there is little or no pain during the injection. Although sedation is usually not necessary, a small amount of sedation can be given for an anxious patient. The needle is placed in the joint under X-ray and the medication is then given. You will have a brief recovery and will then be discharged home with your driver.