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iFuse

Anybody had the iFuse procedure done for their SI problems? I am scheduled in oct. I have tried everything else there is with no success. Just wanted to hear some first hand experiences if anyone has had the procedure.

Thank you.

jani
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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134

Comments

  • I had a similar experience when all my back first started many years ago. My original diagnosis was SI inflammation by my GP. I started physio for that and the pain got worse. A few months later I finally had an MRI which showed DDD and disc bulge at L5/S1.
    stive
  • Jani
    Did u have the surgery? I had the surgery on 10-09-2012 and it would be great to compare recovery experiences! I am three weeks post op and was doing really great so thought I'd do a few leg exercises! That was a mistake! Irritated the si joint so has set me back a few days- hopefully I didn't do anything to jeopardize the procedure?
    Mango
  • Hi Mango,

    Have not had the surgery yet. I am the first to have it done at my local hospital, my surgeon did the training specifically for me (and I am sure later on others) but now the nurses need to be trained. And it is getting too close to my winter job (I work year round for this company but work 2 different departments and make most of my money in the winter) so I may have to postpone it til march. However our insurance is probably changing so may want to have it sooner. Unfortunately things don't always work out like they are supposed to.

    I would be very interested to hear how you are doing. How long were you non weight bearing? And are you able to walk easily after the non weight bearing period? What kind of exercises did you try and do? What do you expect your initial recovery to be? Tell me everything!!!

    Jani
    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.
  • It seems like no one answers your questions or PM's around here. I posted 3 comments the other day, you should read them and it you have any other questions just ask. Diane http://www.spine-health.com/forum/pain/sacroiliac-si-joint-problems/ifuse-surgery
    I had the SI-BONE ifuse implant procedure on August 6th 2012.
  • Diane,

    Thank you so much for that link. It did help alot. I am scheduled for spring. It was supposed to be in early october but as a new procedure for my hospital there was so much red tape. I teach skiing in the winter (yes I can still manage to do that, it actually feels better to be on skis) so a december surgery wouldn't work. Now it is spring.

    I am so anxious to get it done. I was encouraged by the short time non weight bearing. I am hoping for the same. I am a (former) competitive athlete and have very strong bones and I build bone really well (fused L1 to S1).

    Any additional info that you feel might be helpful I would be appreciative of. What is your activity level now?

    Thank you.

    Jani
    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.
  • Hey Jani,

    I just had my 4 week post-op follow up on 11-7-2012 and all is going well. I have been creating a detail account of my procedure under the topic "iFuse Surgery - Synopsis". I would direct you to that thread for more information on my experiences. Phil aka Mangophil
    Mango
  • Dear Jana,

    I was up and walking on my own that night. Full weight bearing just hours after the procedure. Mangophil -AKA Phil said he was full weight bearing like two weeks after the procedure. My activity level?? I'm almost 50. LOL I love playing in my garden which I have been doing since my 6 week post-op appointment when I was released from my doctors care. I own, am a teacher at a Day Care Center licensed for 42 children. I was off of work for almost 2 years and more less popping pain pills to sit around and do nothing so I'm personally having issues with my muscles. Something as simply as stopping by the Day Care Center on a Sunday for 20 minutes looking down and doing paper work has caused me a lot of pain. That was two months ago and my neck still hurts, really hurts from time to time. What form of SIJD do you have? Knowing that might help me help you between now and spring when you have the procedure. I'd prefer to talk throw email if that's okay with you and that goes for anyone else reading this. Thanks, Diane - lady.di@comcast.net
    I had the SI-BONE ifuse implant procedure on August 6th 2012.
  • Hello there Jani!

    I am also a skier, (former) moguls and freestyle. I feel about the same way as you, it does not hurt to ski, however the lifts kill me (sitting). I made an appt to see if I need fixation or fusion for mid-April. As soon as I made the appt, I panicked and searched to find an athlete that has had this procedure done before. I want to know if I will be able to get back to the competitive level I so enjoy. I also downhill mtn bike, hike, golf and walk for exercise (used to I should say) and also would like to get back to those someday. I just don't know how fixation/fusion will affect movement.

    I wish you the best of luck with your surgery. I'll keep an eye out to see how you have done.

    Take Care,
    LTS
  • Thanks for the message. I hope to have the IFuse surgery the beginning of april. I should know the date next week.

    I had a cortisone injection which was successful (I have not had much luck with them in the past). It allowed me to ski the bumps but not at the level I used to years ago. Probably my age has something to do with that too!!

    My spine is fused L1 to S1. The surgery was successful in fixing the problems I was having (knocked unconscious by a snowboarder and it just totally ruined my spine). It took a lot of patience after the 3 surgeries to get back to being able to do things I did before. I have not been out on my mtn bike but until this past summer and the SI problems I could ride my road bike and I even made it back on my time trial bike (it was a long process!! I just did not want to bend that way).

    I will let you know about my surgery. Since the cortisone was successful in the SI area I am hoping for good results from the surgery.

    Keep me posted on what is happening with you.

    jani
    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.
  • BAYSIDEBBAYSIDE Posts: 3
    edited 03/12/2013 - 7:46 AM
    Hi Folks,
    I had laminectomy and fusion of L2,3&4 nearly two years ago. Without a question the surgery helped, but the pain has remained constant. About 6 months ago the pain seemed to spread to my right hip, the front of the right leg, and at a focal point in my right buttock. The pain is in the same spot from which the surgeon took the bone graft. Pain clinics have not been able to help me and a recent MRI and CATSCAN showed nothing of an abnormal nature in the lower vertebrae of my back. I recently read of iFuse on this Spine-Health website. Now, after reading some on your testimonials, I will investigate this procedure. Have any of you had your sacroiliac fusion performed in California. I live on the central coast. I'll appreciate all comments. Thanks.
    Robert L. Hyde
  • One of my new friends from New Zealand is in San Francisco, California now having a bilateral SI-BONE iFuse procedure. Other then her I don't know anyone from California. There is a link to my story at the #5 post on this page. Feel free to e-mail me with any questions or concerns. Diane
    I had the SI-BONE ifuse implant procedure on August 6th 2012.
  • Robert my bone graft area bothered me for a long long time, but I did not pain anywhere but in the area where it was done.

    I am having the IFuse surgery on april 2. I live in Idaho. I know of someone who went to San Diego to have it done. I believe that was where it originated, at UCSD medical school.

    The gold standard for SI joint dysfunction is to have 2 cortisone shots in your SI that relieve pain. Then it can be diagnosed as SI dysfunction.

    Good luck. If you have any more questions don't hesitate to ask.

    jani
    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 Jani... I'm late to this conversation... I see you are fused L1-S1... can I ask when that was exactly? My last fusion was part revision and part new fusion, and I also have my entire lumbar fused. My surgeon "installed" two additional long screws into my pelvis to "stablize" the spine and hopefully prevent any SI join issues arrising (they go through the joint) because according to him often total lumbar fusions result in SI problems. I was just curious if this was a relatively knew concept (of these screws in the pelvis). Best of luck on your IFUSE surgery! It's just around the corner!
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • Hi,

    I was knocked unconscious by an out of control snowboarder. It put my SI joint in a new time zone. I also received a concussion, bruised kidney and torn cartilage in both knees. It was a hard hit, I could not feel my legs when I came to and thought I was paralyzed. The feeling came back slowly.

    The focus for the first couple of years was my SI joint as one side was hyper rigid and one side hyper mobile. It was a lost cause. Then my spine started deteriorating. I had a laminectomy at L4/L5 and thought that was the end of it. A few years later I had terrible pain and weakness in my right leg. L4/L5 was fused. It solved that problem. Then my spine started to collapse in on itself. As you can see from my x-ray I am not fused in a very straight line. I lost 1/2" in height and I am NOT tall to start with. I am now 5'1". I also developed a bone spur from my spine collapse and it was pressing on my spinal cord. I am really good at building bone.

    Seven months after my first fusion I underwent a 2nd bigger fusion. I was fused L1-L5. L4/L5 were re-done. Again problem solved and because I am so good at building bone I had a good fusion.

    A couple years later more pain and leg weakness. This time it was L5/S1. The disc had deteriorated. So it could not be saved and had to be replaced as a bolt was attached to my pelvis from my spine.

    I was aware of a fusion placing more stress on the joints above and below. My surgeon did not really think I would have more problems but it was always possible. There was no indication that my spine would be collapsing or I would have more problems below. We did not talk much of the SI joint just that all that bone on top of it could cause problems. Maybe.

    My current surgeon, who has done all my fusions and will do the IFuse, who I trust completely, was not involved in the initial diagnosis (I lived somewhere else then) and I did not think the SI joint could cause this much pain. But it can't handle the big chunk of bone I am so good at building.

    Long story but there it is. I have never heard of screws in the pelvis but it sure makes sense. I think the SI joint is being recognized as a cause of lower back pain more and more often these days. The IFuse procedure is new and seems very similar to what was done to you. Pins to keep the joint from moving.

    Are you pain free?

    jani
    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.
  • Sounds like you did have a terrible accident. Clearly it was physically tramatic, I can only imagine it was also very emotionally tramatic. I think its awesome that you are still teaching and skiing. I'm not sure I would have had the courage to step back on the mountain.

    We have very similar lumbar issues, though mine did not arise from a trauma. I am not pain free, but I am able to tolerate my current pain levels. I've had spinal pain since age 9 when my problems came to light. I have been very lucky though with pain and currently I'm able to tolerate it without narcotics. I am so thankful for that and I hope this will continue. I'm having some hardware revission done this wednesday so I'm hoping that will also help with the pain.

    I do want to wish you the best of luck with the IFUSE. I googled it and from what I saw there are like 3 screw (or screw like? devices). It looks like it would be very painful initially, but hopefully you will breeze through it. You have already been through SOOOO MUCH, hopefully this recovery will go quickly and smoothly and you'll be back to your old self very soon.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • Good luck with your revision. What are they doing? Is it an open surgery? I am so thankful that the IFUSE is minimally invasive vs. open surgery. My surgeon said the first few days are really rough since they go in thru your glutes. But recovery is half of what an open surgery would be. Yes 3 titanium pins. Maybe 2 since I am not a big person. He will decide once I under the flouroscope.

    jani
    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.
  • All of my back surgeries have had to be open. This one though should be relatively "minor". One of the clamps connecting my new titanimum to my old stainless steel has come undone and I'm not fused yet. So basically they are going to add an additional titanium rod between these two and clamp it a few times. And yikes for you! Through the glutes! That does sound painful, but hopefully it will be all so worth it for you in the end. I've heard SI pain can be very bad, so maybe the surgery will be a piece of cake after having to deal with the SI pain for so long.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • I've said before that the un-describable horrible absolutely terrible positively miserably pain from my waist down to the point that I couldn't think straight was gone the moment I woke up after the procedure. Even I didn't believe it and I wasn't 100% sure if it was just me or is that how it's supposed to be. Well, one of my new iFuse friends had the procedure on Monday March 11th. Yesterday morning I asked her to check out what you guys/girls were talking about and ask her permission to post the following. At 2 days post-op she told me "I don't remember anything until I was waking up in the recovery room and there was a nurse by my side all of that time giving me ice chips and asking me about my pain, of which I had a LOT of. They gave me morphine, then more morphine and when I still couldn't stand it, they gave me dilaudid. I think they only gave me one dose of that and then went back to the morphine and I think I was getting that throughout the day on Monday, but then on Tuesday *(yesterday), they switched me over to hydrocodone. It's the exact same strength as what he prescribed when I HAD my SI pain. Yes, past tense because hallelujah, it's not there anymore! *doing the happy dance* I'd say that you just don't know how happy that makes me, but I know that you truly do know what it's like. I have a hellish sore ass cheek/hip, however you'd describe that area, but I'll gladly put up with that for awhile! :):):) I am so extremely glad that I had the surgery done!!!!!" At 4 days post-op she said "You are such a good friend and I probably have you to thank for me not chickening out on having the ifuse done. I really was scared of the idea of him drilling into my bones and having screws and titanium rods in me. The idea still doesn't really thrill me, but a person has to do what she has to do to get her life back again. It's almost indescribable how to explain to a person what it's like not having that horrendous pain anymore. I'm happier than I've been in an awful long time!!!!" Yesterday Cathy said "I read Jani's comments and All Metals. Wow, was Jani ever through a lot! If she could go through all of that, having the iFuse done will be a walk in the park!" Take care and keep us posted, Diane
    I had the SI-BONE ifuse implant procedure on August 6th 2012.
  • I'm so happy for your friend!!!! I'm glad she'll be able to get her "old" life back. And I'm happy for you that your IFUSE was so successful. I know both of these must give Jani alittle more confidence. Thanks for the story!
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • I am so glad to hear of your friend's positive report, as well as yours. My surgeon said to expect a lot of pain in my derriere. I am so encouraged by no more pain. I am counting the days Because of the rest of the titanium in my back it will be a little more time consuming than if this was my first surgery. But my surgeon has put it all there so he knows my back better than I do.

    Thanks for all the support.

    And please, All Metal, let me know how the revision goes.

    jani
    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.
  • Derriere!!! Your showing your age. LOL Yes, the incision area will be sore. It's literally a pain in the B.U.T.T.. Maybe not right afterwards but the next day with your si-joint pain gone you will considerate it just a hurt verses a pain. I have some information about post-op that I never e-mailed you. I will send that to you now. Diane
    I had the SI-BONE ifuse implant procedure on August 6th 2012.
  • janiskijjaniski Posts: 679
    edited 03/22/2013 - 3:28 PM
    Well I was a french major...and I did live in the french speaking part of Switzerland. I guess I could have said bum which I picked up living in Canada. I know it will be a major pain in the butt.

    I got your email about the post op info. Thank you so much.

    jani
    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.
  • Three days to go and counting. Finished with work and getting the house and meals ready. I am so excited. My birthday is the day after surgery and the best present ever will be to be pain free!!!
    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.
  • I wanna click "LIKE" :-) I know it's a little early but HAPPY EASTER!!! and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! and of course you are officially welcomed into the "I'm happier then I've been in a awful long time" club :-) Take care and talk to you soon. Diane
    I had the SI-BONE ifuse implant procedure on August 6th 2012.
  • Thanks for all the good wishes. I am soooooo excited. Will keep you posted.

    jani
    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.
  • We'll be thinking about you! Tomorrow I'm 3 weeks post-op after having the iFuse procedure and think that I am progressing well. I'm now down to taking one Hydrocodone every 8-10 hours. I still have pain in my right butt cheek but not as much as I had. I also can't lift my right leg very high and need help getting dressed but can do pretty much all of it by myself. I have to sit down to dress, of course, but then again, I was already doing that for quite some time before I had the surgery because of all of the pain that I was having. Even though I woke up in the recovery room with a lot of pain in my right butt cheek, I knew right away that my si joint pain was gone, thank goodness, just like my surgeon said it would be! I will gladly put up with this new pain for awhile rather than go back to that horrendous si joint pain that I was having. I definitely don't regret having the surgery! I'll admit that I was scared of having it done, but it just gets to the point where you think, "I just have to go for it and hope that it will get me out of this miserable pain that I've been in for years." I felt like I didn't have much of a choice anymore, and I just wanted to get my life back again. I've missed out on doing so many things with my family because of having si joint dysfunction, but now I think that I can put those days behind me eventually. I know your feeling of being excited, and I wish you the best with your surgery! ((hugs))
    Cathy
    Had SI-Joint Fusion done using iFuse on March 11, 2013
  • janiskijjaniski Posts: 679
    edited 04/01/2013 - 12:28 AM
    Cathy,

    Thanks so much for the encouraging words. I am expecting some pain in my butt per the surgeon but I can put up with that for awhile as long as the SI joint pain is gone. I am so excited and part of that is from all the good reports from all my friends on this forum. Its so nice to know that people have gone thru it and it works!!

    I will keep you all posted as soon as I can get back to the computer!!

    jani
    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.
  • I am 3 days post op and all is well. Of course my butt cheek is not happy at all but I have NO SI joint pain!!! The surgeon said it went "perfectly". I went in at 6 a.m. surgery was at 8 and I was home by 2:30. I am cruising around on my walker. Well cruising isn't the exact term but I can get around the house. I see the surgeon on monday. I can't believe there is no SI pain. I am very happy!!!

    jani
    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.
  • I, quite recently, was diagnosed as having Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction. I have had incredible pain for four years! I am in EXCRUCIATING pain tonight. The pain has been increasing DAILY!

    The orthopedic surgeon who diagnosed my condition was POSITIVE that I have Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction, telling me that my symptoms are classic. He intends to give me a diagnostic injection this next week. I am TERRIFIED as all other injections I have had, (epidural, cortisone, trigger point), resulted in my having MUCH increased pain. Should I be afraid of this happening again?

    He, the surgeon, also told me that the next step would be the fusion surgery of which you all have spoken. I, naturally, am very afraid of having this surgery.

    You are SURE that this type of surgery made you pain-free? If so, oh, how much I hope it works for me. I am no longer able to manage my pain. Only hours of sleep helps. Upon waking, wham! I get hit with unbelievable pain in my Piriformis muscle, (right side). I feel like I am being torn in two. I feel like I am being stabbed, repeatedly. I feel as though something is about to burst.

    Have any of you had the above symptoms? Have you had intense stinging, burning, tingling, vibrations?

    I, most certainly, would appreciate your replies.

    Thank you!

    JES
  • janiskijjaniski Posts: 679
    edited 04/06/2013 - 11:42 AM
    Yes I am am pain free. No SI joint pain what so ever. I had heard this from several people who have had he IFUSE and wondered how that could be. But is is true. You have pain from the incision and from the drilling of the pins into the bone but that goes away.

    The gold standard for being diagnosed with SI joint dysfunction is 2 cortisone injections that relieve your symptoms.I have had bad luck with cortisone in the past (not working) but then I had it work for 6 weeks in nov so you just never know til you do it.

    Don't be afraid of the surgery. It works!!! I was home the same day.

    I have had 4 in the past 2 years and the last 2 wee to get me thru til I could have surgery. My pain management doc puts me out with a drug called versaid. It does not stay in your system long but long enough so I do not feel any discomfort of the injection

    I have had tingling. My pain is more a deep deep unbearable pain.

    I hope you go ahead with the procedures. There are many people on this site who have had to IFUSE and have had great success.

    Please let me know what you decide to do.

    jani
    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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