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SI Joint Pain

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Sacroiliac Joint Pain

SI joint pain is a common but underdiagnosed source of lower back pain. Pain in the SI joint can manifest as:

Lower back pain
Buttocks pain
Pain radiating down the back of the legs
Pain while sitting
Poor sleeping
Leg instability


Options for SI Joint Pain Treatment

Medication treatment

Medications such as non-steroidal anti inflammatory agents can be used to treat SI joint pain.

Physical therapy

Some patients respond to physical therapy or chiropractic manipulations. Intermittent use of a pelvic belt may provide symptomatic relief as well. These treatments are performed repetitively, and frequently symptom improvement using these therapies is temporary.

SI joint injections

Some patients respond to SI joint injections with steroids. Pain relief may last from months to years.

SI joint fusion

Patients who do not respond to non-operative therapy can many times find relief from fusion of the SI joint. Today, the most commonly performed surgical fusion procedure is iFuse Implant System (SI-BONE, Inc., San Jose, CA). This treatment involves placement of titanium implants across the SI joint in a minor surgical procedure. The entire procedure is performed through a small incision (approximately 2-3cm long), along the side of your buttock. During the procedure, fluoroscopy provides your surgeon with live imaging during the procedure to facilitate proper placement of the implants. Fluoroscopy is an imaging technique commonly used by physicians to obtain real-time moving images of internal structures using X-rays. Normally three implants will be used, depending on your size. 

The following images are of the SI Joint - iFuse Implant System 

The procedure takes about an hour. You may feel comfortable enough to return home a couple of days following surgery. However, your surgeon will make this decision based on your post-surgical status.

At discharge, your surgeon will arrange follow-up visits to assess your progress, health status (including the status of your incision) and may take additional images of your surgical site. Your doctor will advise you when it is appropriate to resume your daily activities and weight bearing. Return to work will depend on your postsurgical progress and occupation.

iFuse Implant System is FDA-cleared. The iFuse System is intended for sacroiliac joint fusion for conditions including sacroiliac joint disruptions and degenerative sacroiliitis. As with all surgical procedures and permanent implants, there are risks and considerations associated with surgery and use of the iFuse Implant, and should be discussed at the time of consultation.

You may be eligible to participate in a study of the iFuse procedure. Information will be collected about you before surgery and at specific times during your follow up. Your participation in the study may help other patients like you in the future as more will be known about this surgical procedure. To learn more about SI joint fusion, please view the iFuse video located at the bottom of the page or schedule an appointment with Dr. Don Kovalsky. A description of the study is provided here.

Information on Clinicial Trials

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