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VetmanVVetman Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:58 AM in Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Problems
Hi Everyone-
I've just learned of this condition & I'm having HORRIBLE pain & have all the symptoms of Sacroiliitis for the last month. I'm 46, very active & I injured this area 20 yrs ago training my back in the gym. It has caused me irregular pain off & on over 20 yrs. I thought it was lower back pain, not Pelvis pain...a common mistake that people make I guess. I understand that it can effect the surrounding back muscles next to the Pelvis. I'm still in shock that I even has this condition. I'm trying to stay positive & learn.

I understand that Drs. OFTEN misdiagnose this & if not properly diagnosed & treated QUICKLY it can deteriorate fast. I'm VERY concerned & nervous, often my balance is off & my walking is effected. I can barely drive anywhere or bare any weight on my hips, sleep is becoming difficult & how will I be able to work with this condition??? Vicadin/antiinflammatories, etc hardly do anything. I already take every type supplement in the book as well. Many days the pain is so bad I cannot leave the house. I've NEVER felt pain this bad ever.

I just learned I have 2 bone spurs located on top of my SI joints which can be easily felt by hand. I'm assuming I'll need surgery to remove these? By a Spine surgeon I understand? My Dr. wants to pursue Physical Medicine, which I feel is the wrong course since I have bone spurs on top of my SI joints (rubbing on nerves causing pain?). To make matters worse, I'm with the (slow-moving) VA & haven't even been diagnosed with Sacroiliitis yet.
I'm committed to dealing with this condition quickly & aggressively as I don't want to end up crippled & in bad pain forever. I'm prepared to go thru much suffering (up & to surgery) to get this fixed.
How do I proceed & make my Dr. take me seriously & order the correct tests/treatments, etc.
Thank you all for any help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • Hi Vetman and welcome to s-h;

    The best way to proceed with your doc is to be firm, don't take no for an answer, while remaining respectful, of course. I'm not sure what kind of specialist would be the best for your condition, I'm thinking an ortho perhaps? Your best bet would be to discuss this with your doc, ask for a referral. In the meantime, are you seeing any kind of pain management specialist? I too have SI joint pain, and injections have helped me so much. I started out with normal injections, which did great for a few weeks, and just had my first RFA (radio-frequency ablation - where they burn the nerve roots) done on my right side, am getting the same done on my left side next month. I have little to no pain left on my right side since having the procedure done, whereas before, the pain would bring me right back down whenever I would try to stand up, and I could never find a position that gave me relief. You might not be the same, as you have the bone spurs, but it might be a possibility for you to look into. I totally understand your pain.

    For walking, do you have a cane? If not, might be a good investment, especially with winter coming on and the ice and snow causing more of an obstacle if you're having balance issues (if you're not lucky enough to live in a sunny southern warm snow free climate that is!)

    Also, you might want to check out the articles under the SI Joint pain section, there is a ton of info that you might find useful: http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/sacroiliac-joint-dysfunction/sacroiliac-joint-dysfunction-si-joint-pain

    Best of luck to you.
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Vetman, don't panic just yet. The initial treatment is usually just conservative. Physical therapy, ice (not heat), don't force exercise and pound down on the joint by running or go and do leg presses at the gym in an effort to help your "recovery" along. Do only the exercises your PT recommends. And you may not need to go with a VA for that, I'm not sure how that works. The bone spurs may complicate the picture. Maybe they will have to come off or maybe the doc will say, "no big deal". In any event, I know first-hand that the pain is horrific. I am a small built woman and I needed at least Percocet and then Oxycotin to get by before I had my initial RFA (nerve ablation, like previous poster). But that is waaay down the road. First, you need a scan and then a consult and an SI joint injection. A pain-management specialist may be in order as well. They can order the MRI and do the SI joint injection. Best of luck to you.

  • Vetman,

    This is a great site for information and support, I'm glad you are here. I too suffer from SI joint pain, along with lumbar pain and I know the pain can be horrific at times. I too worry about the long term effects of si joint issues, but like Lisa said, dont panic. A good physical therapist will be able to get you going in the right direction and show you how to strengthen and stretch your all the areas around the joint to allow it to function normally.

    Unfortunately there is no good imaging to show si joint problems, the best way is though symptoms and a manupulation test a qualified professional will be able to do. After doing this simple test of moving my leg and hip around and putting a small amount of pressure on my joint I was in a ton of pain. Once they felt that there is was good chance its was the si joint, they gave me an injection to verify it and to give some pain relief. With my first injection I felt like a new man, I was then able to sit in a car and get out of a chair without that horrible pain. On the advice of my pain management doctor I got a second shot and so far I have only felt pain on and off there.

    My goal now that my pain level is manageable is to get a normal range of motion around the joint and to gain strength to keep the joint protected. My pt feels that I should be able to get to the point where everything is back to normal with my si joint if I'm able to keep up my exercise and stretching program.

    Best of luck to you, be persistent with your doctors and I hope you are able to get relief soon! Keep us informed on how things are going, take care. Mitch
  • Vetman, for some people, the initial SI injection alone, if it is done with cortisone is all the treatment they need. With luck, you will fall into this category. Others, like myself, have had to go down a long road.
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