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SI joint pain

Does anyone have SI pain that was resolved without surgery (meaning SI joint fusion)?

I am fused L1-S1 and the block of bone sitting on my SI joint is too much for it. It was injured originally in the accident and now things have come full circle.

I have had 2 cortisone injections, the gold standard for SI joint pain and both provided temporary relief.

Now I have a lot of pain but my surgeon does not want to do a fusion and has sent me to a new PT who has modified my core strengthening routine. I got some relief at first but now seem to be back to my old pain level. I have had prolotherapy and rhyzotomies in the past with no results.

Anyone with similar problems??

L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.


  • Sorry, I haven't been able to resolve mine, either. I'm scheduled for fusion on Aug 27th. The cortisone in the shots didn't help me much, but made me very jittery and nauseous. It was the lidocaine (1st shot) and marcaine (2nd shot) that gave me temporary complete relief. **If anyone is going for an injection, ask for marcaine...lasted 12 hours, while lidocaine only lasted 3**

    Not many surgeons have the knowledge/experience for SI fusion, and therefore will probably tell you not to have it. (Don't want to lose a patient to someone else who know how). One doctor I went to wouldn't even consider that it was my pain generator. I actually did a google search and that's how I figured out it was my problem and found my doctor..supposed to be one of the best in the country. I'm in Florida, if you're anywhere close by, message me and I'll give you his contact info. If not, try to find someone close to you. A second opinion never hurts, but darn it the SI can!

    I've read that SI problems can be pretty common after lumbar fusion.

    What kind of accident did you have? I was rear-ended at a stop light. ugh.

    Good luck to you!
  • I was knocked unconscious by a snow boarder. Also got a concussion, bruised kidney and tore the cartilage in both knees. It was a hard hit. I could not feel my legs when I came to and thought I was paralyzed.

    It started with the SI joint and then my spine started to deteriorate, hence the fusions. I build bone very well so there is a good hunk of bone sitting on my SI. So it has come full circle.

    I had cortisone injections in my SI joints, which is the gold standard for diagnosing SI joint dysfunction. If it works 2 times it shows there is SI joint dysfunction. Mine lasted several weeks, up to a month. However you can't keep doing them. Wish you could, it would be much nicer than surgery.

    My spine surgeon is going thru IFuse training so I can have it done. It is minimally invasive, small incisions and no bone graft. The recovery is half the time of an open surgery. I am not sure when my surgery will be. I am not looking forward to 3-6 weeks non weight bearing but its sure better than 6-8 weeks or more.
    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • Hi Janiski
    I had SI blocks as a trial to determine if I was a candidate for SI rhizotomy (RFA). I had the RFA procedure on my right SI joint in December 2011 and have had great success with it. My pain on that side has been substantially reduced and the whole area is numb. ( I had 2 of my 3 graft sites on that side and it was a major source of pain including hypersensitiviy to touch - that is now gone too). The results an last up to a year and then thevcan ablate the nerves again.

    I wish I could say I ad the same success with the RFA on my left SI joint, but not the case. Didn't help on that side. Maybe reduced pain from 7 to 6. Very minimal but I have lots of other issues going on on my left side.

    Have you talked to your docs about SI RFA? Might be worth a conversation.

    Good luck, marni
  • I have had many ryzomotomies over the years (pre RFA procedure) with not success. I seem to have done it all, rhyzotomies, prolotherapy, accupuncture, blocks, cortisone injections, PT, osteopathic adjustments. For the past 12 I have done everything. The fusions worked on my lower spine to stop the further deterioration. Since the problem started in my SI it has now come full circle. Too much stress on the SI from the fusion of L1-S1. I am really good at building bone. My surgeon is now ready to do something else. He does not want to do an open fusion but I am a good candidate for IFuse.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • What is the difference between rhizotomy and RFA? I thought that they are essentially the same thing they just don't call it rhizotomy anymore.

    How do they determine if you are a candidate for ifuse? Did any f the ablations work for your SI pain?

  • Sorry it has taken me so long to respond.

    RFA is now radio frequency where as rhyztotmoy used a needle to burn the nerve. End result is supposed to be thesame.

    The golden standard for SI joint dysfunction is 2 separate cortisone injections that the pain responds to.

    Nothing has worked for my SI joint pain. And I have tried it all. I am scheduled for SI joint fusion using iFuse in october. I am very anxious for it as my pain just gets worse and worse.
    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
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