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Sacroiliac joint surgery. Support required

FusiongirlFFusiongirl Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Problems
Hi all
I am very new to this so bear with me.

In August 2009 I had L4/L5 fusion. Although the fusion was successful I still had this awful pain in my buttock. Before the fusion I really thought the pain was one pain coming from the worn discs. However pain persisted and I was diagnosed with sacroiliac joint dysfunction, my doctor thought itbwas probably from the fusion and almost twenty years of walking badly due to persistent knee pain which subsequently turned into arthritis.
Anyway on 18th January I had the sacroiliac fusion surgery. All went well (apart from the post op pain etc etc) until it was time to mobilise. I am non weight bearing on my right side for six weeks minimum followed by six weeks non weight bearing. The problem is my poor left knee will not take my weight. Despite many session with the physiotherapist nothing changed. I am now home, bedridden, catheter in and will be like this for at least another month or until my knee behaves again.
Needless to say I am totally fed up. I am coping but only just, missing my showers, washing my hair and worried about just how my lack of mobility will affect my progress. So far it seems as though the horrible pre op pain has gone. I still have some post op pain but it is well controlled with pain meds. On top of everything I have had a flu bug, passed on my my lovely other half who I have to say has been amazing through all of this. #:S
Now I am faced with a total knee replacement. I broke my leg three years ago so I have to have may plate and screws removed first (followed by four weeks non weight bearing). My surgeon, who has been my rock, will remove the plate but then I have to go to a specialist as I need a customized prosthesis due to where my break was. I am totally fed up of surgery now, I just want a normal life!
Any advice or info would be grateful, especially from anyone who has had sacroiliac surgery. Many thanks.


  • Oh dear, you've had an awful time of it lately. I'm so sorry that you seem to be having one problem after another. Let's hope your surgeon has sorted out your S.I. problems - because you said you don't have the pre-op pain any more and that your risidual pain is being controlled by effective medication.

    Although I have S.I. joint dysfunction, thank G-d, my surgeon does NOT operate on this. He is treating me with S.I. steroid injections. I've had enough spine surgery and don't think any more will sort my pain out - probably only create more!

    I'm really sending lots of patience, positivity and hugs your way at the moment and am pleased you have a great supporting 'other half' and a good support network looking after you.

    I hope your pain levels improve and your period of non-weightbearing will pass by quicker if you can find something to occupy yourself that you find interesting and enjoyable. One day at a time yeah?
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • SIJ fusion surgery should certainly be avoided if possible, but whether it can always be avoided is an open question. The answer to this will be based on your underlying philosophy of mechanism. IF you believe that it is ligamentous strain, maybe it should heal. However, most authors that operate on the SIJ discuss osteoarthritis (that relentlessly worsens), so nonop methods may outlive their usefulness.

    Fusion Girl: should work and communicate closely with her surgeon. no surgeon wants to hear that the patient is suffering at home without support. It should be possible to mobilize somehow with help, meaning, wheelchair, physical medicine, visiting therapist, home healthcare, etc. One or more of these surgeons will have ideas about what is to be done. This is orthopaedics, and is a problem, but not something that should not have answers. If you like your trauma surgeon, call him/her.
  • Sue D and sijexpert

    Thank you for taking time to answer my cry for help! Things are improving slowly but at least there has been some progress. I have my catheter out and I can walk short distances with my underarm crutches. That has allowed me to have some showers which has helped me feel human again! I am using my wheelchair now as well which helps me get around better but modern UK houses are not built for wheelchairs, doors are not wide enough! My pain has increased big time with the movement but I am hoping it is just because I am moving about more. I was told this is a painful op but until now the pain has been minimal. I just hope I haven't been putting more weight on it than I should be. I have been lucky as I have had regular visits from the district nurse, the physiotherapist and the occupational therapist. I see my surgeon tomorrow so wish me luck! If there is evidence of fusion I will be able to partial weight bear.

    Sue, I pray and hope you can avoid surgery, my history reads like yours, spinal fusions followed by many many injections but for me the injections just stopped working and radio frequency ablation did nothing. One thing I will say is that this op was not nearly as bad as the spinal fusion op. If it hadn't been for my knee I think I would have coped well. The non weight bearing is a pain but if you have everything you need in place it's not too bad. So if it comes to surgery for you, please don't panic, if I can get through it I am positive you can too.

    My thanks and best wishes to you both.
  • let me know how it goes im seeing a surgeaon 2mro because of the pain in the buttock and the heavy feeling with pain when i sit straight down on my behind instead of off to the side
  • I am having si joint fusion in two weeks. have tried everything else injections pt. radio freq ablasement nothing worked. pain is now unbearable! i had spinal surgery four years ago for spinal stenosis, have two rods eight screws and four cages. so I think this might be a factor with the si joint. my question is what it will be like post op. they say no wt. for six weeks on my left leg!is the post op pain bad? ect. thanks becky
  • I had both of my SI joints operated on and the SI-Bone implants put in on Jan 13th. I didn't have any problem with pain and could walk with no problem. I used a walker just in case I had a spasm but never needed it. I do have one large problem and that is severe pain in my right foot! It feels like it is on fire and walking is awful-even trying to drive hurts a bunch. Drugs (oxycodone and gabapentin) haven't help so I'm basically a cripple. I'g going to try and have a CT scan done to make sure there is nothing screwed up there. If that doesn't show anything I'm going to see if my Dr. will talk to the people at SI-Bone and see what they say. Good luck.
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