SI-Joint Fusion Services
The sacroiliac (SI) joint is a significant cause of lower back pain. Clinical publications have identified the SI joint as a pain generator in 15-30% of chronic lower back pain patients. In addition, the SI joint is a pain generator in up to 43% of patients with continued or new onset lower back pain after a lumbar fusion. The iFuse Implant System® manufactured by SI-BONE®, Inc. is a minimally invasive surgical SI joint treatment option that provides stabilization and fusion of the SI joint for some causes of SI joint pain. This is accomplished by inserting triangular-shaped titanium implants across the joint to maximize post-surgical stability and weight bearing capacity. The procedure is done through a small incision and takes about an hour. SI joint treatment using the patented triangular design of the iFuse Implant™ has produced unparalleled clinical results. Orthopaedic Associates' Dr. Matthew T. Davies is highly trained in the latest minimally invasive surgical techniques including use of the iFuse Implant System® from SI-BONE®, Inc.
Do you have SI Joint Problems?
Like any other joint in the body, the SI joint can be injured and/or become degenerative. When this happens, people can feel pain in their buttock and sometimes in the lower back and legs. This is especially true while lifting, running, walking or even sleeping on the involved side.
According to scientific data, it’s common for pain from the SI joint to feel like disc or lower back pain. For this reason, SI joint disorders should always be considered in lower back pain diagnosis.
Do you experience one or more of the symptoms listed below?
• Lower back pain
• Sensation of low extremity: pain, numbness, tingling, weakness
• Pelvis/buttock pain
• Hip/groin pain
• Feeling of leg instability (buckling, giving way)
• Disturbed sleep patterns due to pain
• Disturbed sitting patterns (unable to sit for long periods, sitting on one side)
• Pain going from sitting to standing
Making a Diagnosis
A variety of tests performed during physical examination may help reveal the SI joint as the cause of your symptoms. Sometimes, X-rays, CT-scan or MRI may be helpful in the diagnosis of SI joint-related problems.
The most relied upon method to accurately determine whether the SI joint is the cause of your lower back pain symptoms is to inject the SI joint with a local anesthetic. The injection will be delivered under either X-ray or CT guidance to verify accurate placement of the needle in the SI joint. If your symptoms are decreased by at least 50%, it can be concluded that the SI joint is either the source of or a major contributor to your lower back pain. If the level of pain does not change after SI joint injection, it is less likely that the SI joint is the cause of your lower back pain.
Once the SI joint is confirmed as the cause of your symptoms, treatment can begin. Some patients respond to physical therapy, use of oral medications, or injection therapy. These treatments are often performed repetitively, and frequently symptom improvement using these therapies is temporary. At this point, you and your surgeon may consider other options, including minimally invasive surgery.
How successful is SI Joint fusion surgery?
SI Joint Fusion surgery boasts an 88% satisfaction rate with patients. The procedure also reduces SI joint pain by 68%., improves back function by 50%, and reduces the use of opioids by 29%. Multiple clinical studies have shown that treatment with the iFuse Implant improved pain, patient function, and quality of life.
How long does it take to recover from SI Fusion surgery?
After the minimally invasive iFuse surgery, patients should discuss post-operative care and weight bearing recommendations with their surgeon. Depending on the patient, they may progress to full weight-bearing rapidly while others may require a period of protected weight bearing due to health conditions including age, osteoporosis, altered bone health, impaired balance, or other musculoskeletal conditions.
What is SI Joint Fusion recovery protocol and post-op care?
Follow-up visits will be scheduled to assess your progress and health after the surgery. You will also be advised by your doctor on when is appropriate to resume daily activities such as walking without crutches, carrying groceries, and other daily chores and work.