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Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Fusion Treatment
An SI joint fusion is performed to stabilize the sacroiliac joint to relieve pain and symptoms caused by sacroiliac joint disruptions or degenerative sacroiliitis.
Most cases of sacroiliac joint pain can be treated using pain medication, injection treatments, and physical therapy. Sacroiliac joint fusion surgery may be recommended as the last option to treat sacroiliac joint pain when other nonsurgical treatments are ineffective.
What is Chronic Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
Chronic sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction is a condition in which the sacroiliac joint, located between the sacrum and the iliac bones of the pelvis, becomes inflamed and causes chronic pain. The exact cause of the condition is not well understood, but it is believed to be related to a loss of stability in the joint, leading to abnormal motion and inflammation.
Chronic Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction Causes
Again, the exact causes of this condition are not clear, but there are several factors that have been associated with its development.
- Trauma or injury: SI joint dysfunction can be caused by an acute injury, such as a fall or car accident, or by repetitive microtrauma from activities such as running, jumping, or heavy lifting.
- Postural imbalances: Some people may develop SI joint dysfunction due to postural imbalances, such as a leg length discrepancy or scoliosis.
- Pregnancy: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause the ligaments supporting the SI joint to relax, leading to instability in the joint and pain.
- Degenerative changes: Degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease can cause the SI joint to become inflamed and painful.
- Other conditions: SI joint pain can also be caused by other conditions such as lumbar spinal stenosis, disc herniation, and lumbar radiculopathy.
It's important to note that in many cases, the cause of chronic SI joint dysfunction may be multifactorial. A proper diagnosis by a healthcare professional is important for identifying the underlying cause and developing an appropriate treatment plan.
Chronic Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction Symptoms
Symptoms of chronic SI joint dysfunction include low back pain that is typically felt on one side of the body and may radiate down the leg. The pain may be worse with prolonged standing or sitting, and may be relieved by lying down. Other symptoms may include hip pain, stiffness, and difficulty with certain movements, such as climbing stairs or getting in and out of a car.
Diagnosis of chronic SI joint dysfunction is typically made through a combination of physical examination, imaging studies, and response to treatment. Treatment options include physical therapy, medications, and in severe cases, joint injections or surgery. Physical therapy may include exercises to strengthen the muscles supporting the SI joint and improve flexibility, as well as manual therapy to address any mobility issues in the joint.
The iFuse® Implant System
A minimally invasive surgical procedure performed as an alternative to a traditional open SI joint fusion. During the procedure, three titanium implants are inserted across the SI joint to stabilize and fuse it. Who can benefit from an iFuse® procedure?
Trauma to the SI joint from:
- Fall on the buttock
- Rear end motor vehicle accident
- Heavy lifting
- Seronegative spondyloarthropathies
- Adjacent segment degeneration, post spinal fusion
Benefits of an iFuse® procedure:
- Minimally invasive procedure replaces older traditional open SI joint fusion
- Minimal incision size and less tendon irritation
- Quicker healing
- Less time in the hospital
The iFuse® Implant System
When is an iFuse® procedure recommended? iFuse® is recommended for treatment once all other options have been exhausted. This will include; rest, anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, and sacroiliac joint injections.