Hello.. I had l5-s1 TLIF in Jan 2011.. I have been back to the neurosurgeon every 3 months for xrays and he says all looks well.. Some union taking place etc.. I explain to him that the leg pain subsided about 50%-60% post op. However my back pain has only decreased maybe 30%.. He says that it will take some time and be patient.. Okay I can accept that.. I then adress the extreme pain to the left of my spine, my hip and buttocks that is more intense than before the fusion.. He looks baffled.. Said since discogram was positive for discogenic pain he attributed my pre-op pain in that area to the DDD and annular tear.. He leaves and comes back and says u may have SI Joint issues worse than 1st diagnosed and now the fusion is creating more stress on the joint. Sends me to PT to adress the pain.. The PT makes the pain excruciating, so we scratch that idea.. He then sends me back to PM doctor who did my original ESI Injections, Facet injections yet never adressed the SI Joints before.. WTF why do they not adress this at most PM clinics? All the symptoms were there. So he does a diagnostic shot and the pain virtually subsides, yet returns about 6 hrs later just as before. Shazamm that's the pain source.. So they now have done 2 sets of injections with cortisone with zero relief. Only relief is for maybe a week then it's gone.. I'm set up for a 3rd on Oct 10th. If this fails then he says I am out of options there at the PM clinic.. They do offer the ablation at the SI Joints but he admits it's rarely succesful doue to the nature of the nerves in that area. So what do to then? He said I may need to see a Ortho Spine surgeon to look at a fusion of the SI Joint.. He said even though it isn't hyper mobile a lot there is instability, worn down, and the pain can't be managed that that would be the next option.
So has anyone on here had a similar issue? If a fusion was done what was the outcome? Am I out of the norm with what has happened? I don't wanna take pain meds for life, yet I am scared of a SI Joint fusion.. Just really frustrated no one adressed this 3 years ago when I first brought up the pain indicators.. Maybe it could have been avoided now? Any advise or encouragement would be appreciated.. Thanks!!