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sacrolliac joint fusion

vivavegasvvivavegas Posts: 185
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Chronic Pain
hi im wondering if anyone knows what excatly this is? I was also wondering if anyone has ever heard of poas muscle release done surgically and has anyone had it done?...i have had a fusion of the spinous processes with bmp the surgeon didnt remove any doscs and he didnt put in any metalwork....now a recent mri revealed i have hypertrophy facet joint causing pressure on the thecal sac and left nerve....1 doctor said it shouldnt have been done since i have scoloisis and have 1 leg shorter than the other....im currently looking to see if i can get a surgeon to take this cement[bmp out of my back.well its bone now cause the bmp leaves the body i think 24 hours after its put in],

They also say my pelvis isnt in the proper region..........so i was doing little research and wondering if perhaphs they could do a muscle release surgery on me.the pubic aarea is often sore and feeling of imflamation.actually on that side it almost feels like the hip and ankle are turned ineards.am i makinjg sense? and the opposite leg the whole foot is rotated outwards.......does ayone else have experience of any of this? i would really appreciate your thoughts .thanks AGAIN guys lol.!!! ~X(


  • Viva, I had the SI joint fixated with screws. Its been since 4/16/09. I am still healing some but the pain level is lower. I can actually lay flat on my back for a short time, sitting is a bit better, walking is slow and still labored. Still, I can't do normal activity, I am limited, but I'm not sorry I've had this done. Woulda been nice to be totally pain free, and regain my leg strength, but I'll settle for lesser pain for sure.

    I hope you are able to get a treatment/proceedure to help you, Si joint problems are not regularly considered by both ortho/neuro docs and such a chronic source of pain, and disability.

    Hang in there
  • Drea,

    What were your symptoms for the SI joint issue? I think I have SI joint problems, but I also have a herniated L5-S1 touchng S1 nerve root. I believe the symptoms are similar and I do not think my doctor or I can distinguish between the two.

    I have pain in the rt SI joint (feels tender when I touch, like a bruise) and the pain goes down into my rt butt and down my calf. The pain is ocasionally sharp, but is more often throbbing, achy pain.

    I also have gotten occasional numbness in my rt pelvic area. (that's a little scary)

    My doctor wants to do a microdiscectomy as te disc is clearly impnging onthe nerve, but I feel like its a 50/50 and am afraid to be cu open if the pain is really from the SI joint
  • Melmd....there is a way to see if the SI is in trouble. Lay on your back, knees bent to 90 degrees.
    the side that feels affected...raise that leg and cross that ankle at the knee of the opposite leg. In otherwords...as if you we're sitting up and crossing your leg, resting the ankle on the knee. Also, I was affeected enough that even sitting up I could not cross my affected side knee over my other knee (like gals do). This is referred to as the Faber test, or the cricket test...I was researching the web and came across it. If you google SI joint pain you will get much info, as I did.
  • Thanks Drea for that info.really appreciated it
  • You might also want to investigate piriformis syndrome. The piriformis is a large muscle that runs across from the SI joint area over toward the hip. The sciatic nerve is supposed to run underneath it, and is supposed to pass freely. Inflammation can cause the nerve to become irritated. Sometimes the sciatic nerve gets entangled with the piriformis. Symptoms can be identical to those of a herniated disk or other back problems that refer pain into the legs, hips and buttock area.

    As I'm sure you are aware, muscle imbalances, problems with soft tissue, postural problems, problems with the feet, etc. can all contribute to scoliosis and lead to problems with the spinal structure.

    After I didn't have satisfactory results from two surgeries, I started going to a guy that I call my "rearranger." He has training as a massage therapist, acupuncturist and Chinese medicine, all with an orthopedic specialty. The first thing he did with me was watch me walk and said that everything begins with the feet...everything else is stacked and balanced accordingly. If someone stands with their feet pronated, it causes the ankles to rotate inward, which places torque on the legs, which effects the hips and SI joints, causing the pelvis to tip, which throws the spine out of alignment.

    By correcting the position of the feet, all the rest of this can be resolved through retraining the musculature. This can result in relieving a pinched nerve, can keep bones from rubbing together (which breaks down the structure and can cause arthritis)etc. I figure it may not totally relieve pain but it will at least help to prevent further deterioration and adjoining disk disease.

    It sounds like you could use something similar. Have you worked with someone on your scoliosis?

    SI fusion is not frequently performed. It is a complicated surgery that involves a very difficult recovery. It depends who does the surgery, but some docs want their patients to use crutches for months afterward to keep the weight off the side that is being fused. Many spinal surgeons do not perform this procedure, for a variety of reasons.

    I am going to PM you with some additional info.

    xx Gwennie
  • Sweet Soprano - where did you have your fusion surgery done and by what doctor? I am currently being referrred for the surgery, since nothing else has worked for my SI joint iin thelast 5 years. I heard there are only a few doctors that do this, can you give me any advice?
  • I am new to this forum so I hope that I am posting this correctly.

    I just had SI joint fusion surgery 2 weeks ago. I am from Ontario and had an Ortho surgeon who specializes in the pelvic region perform the surgery. My SI joint needed to be repaired because I had a bone infection (on a PICC line for 2 months) that ate away at my bone.

    My surgeon went in and fused the joint without using any hardware. He used OSTEOSET T pellets (calcium beads) to fill in the void where bone is missing. Over time, my own bone should heal and grow to fill in this space. These pellets are then absorbed into the body over a period of about a month. These beads also contain an antibiotic that will fight off infection in the area that is being fused.

    It should take 6-12 weeks for my own bone to grow (if all goes well). There is a chance of non-union (as with all surgeries) so now it's just wait and see.

    I'm not sure if this type of surgery is offered in the U.S. or not. I'm grateful though that my surgeon does not have to go in a 2nd time to remove any hardware.

    If you have any questions, feel free to post them. Hopefully I can be of help.
  • Cheryl M
    Where in Ontario do you live??? Did you do any other treatments prior to having the fusion???
    How are you doing now?
  • I live in Lasalle, just outside of Windsor.

    I had no other treatments with regards to the SI joint. I was being treated for the bone infection (2 IV antibiotics per day) in order to stop the infection from spreading.

    When this first occurred back in April, the pain was excrutiating. They diagnosed me with sciatica (because I was having 100-200 spasms per day)and put me on anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants. That pain went away after 2-3 weeks but then I still wasn't able to walk without crutches (my gait was way off). It wasn't until I had an MRI at the beginning of June that they noticed a "hot spot" at the SI joint. A bone scan and a CT scan also confirmed this.

    In terms of pain the last couple of months, it really wasn't that bad. The main reason for the surgery was to go in, take out some tissue and bone samples, and test for more infection. The surgeon decided that doing the fusion would probably be best to do at the same time (since he was already in around the SI joint).

    It's been 3 weeks since the surgery and I feel pretty good. There is some pain in the area but I am hoping that it is because my own bone is reacting to the stuff that my surgeon put in there. I take percocet for the pain and I tire very easily. I see him in 3 more weeks to evaluate the bone growth.

    If you have any more questions, feel free to post them.
  • Thanks for the info regarding SI Joint surgery I have been considering this surgery since I had a MVA last year,
    but now I think I have changed my mind.!
    I hope and pray your pain goes away soon and try to take things in moderation. I wish you all the best!
  • Hi,

    I just wanted to put out there that I too have had my SI joint fused. I'm only 7 weeks into the recovery, but so far the results are good. I've got a lot of muscle spasm and fatigue, but the deep pain I was having is gone and I am off narcotic pain meds for the first time in quite awhile. It's still too early to know what the final outcome will be, but so far things are looking extremely optimistic.

    I post this just to say that this is a viable, though controversial procedure and it is worth the effort to look into it if you suffer with SI joint problems that have not responded to conservative treatments. My surgeon said it best when he said, "it's the only thing you've got left" because I had literally tried all methods of conservative treatment.

    For those considering it, I recommend visiting some websites of surgeons that do the procedure so you can get a realistic picture of what the surgery entails. There aren't a whole lot of surgeons, but they are out there. Also, what made me decide to go ahead and do it was pulling all the peer-reviewed research papers on the surgery. The results were quite encouraging, and I also learned about all the different techniques and hardware used and was able to make an informed decision about what surgeon I wanted and what type of grafting/hardware had the highest success rate for fusion.

    It's a tough decision since the surgery is controversial, and you will have doctors telling you not to do it (and others that will tell you to do it), but it is definitely an option that should be considered if you suffer with intractable SI joint pain.
  • Hi Cheryl,

    I truly hope you see this!

    Im from Toronto Ontario and have been searching for an Ortho surgeon in Canada (never mind Ontario) and have not been able to find one. Even my pain specialist from St. Michael's has not been able to find one. Im now searching for a really good one in the U.S. Can you tell me the name of your surgeon?? You can email me privately if you want.

  • Hi LaLa, as I commented to Cheryl Im looking for a good surgeon - anywhere. I have looked at the IFuse System recently and the docs associated with it. Can you tell me what system you chose and if not your surgeon's name than where thier from - even that would help. After 13 yrs of dealing with increasing pain from SI joint issue on one side and secondary left sided issues both back and front Im scared but desperate. At only 43 I want and need my life back.

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