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SI Joint Fusion

In the last 4 years I have had 3 back fusion surgeries. I am fused from L2 to L5. I am in constant pain, some days are better than others. After a follow-up from a surgery in Dec 2011, the Dr says there is a strong possibility of bi-lateral SI malfunction/ dysfunction due to "transference syndrome". Is the SI Joint surgery going to take care of the pain. My life as it is very restricted. I was a Chef for 25 years, now I am lucky if I can stand for more than a couple of hours.
Any thoughts/suggestions would greatly help my course of action.
Stephen R Schmelz


  • HELLO:
    My situation is similar to yours. I had facet joint fusion surgery twice with donor bone, and they both failed. However, I have also had buttock pain since prior to these surgeries (my doctor though my back was causing the buttock pain). Now, a year after my last surgery for my L3 down to S1, I am barely able to walk. I discovered that I will be having bilateral SI joint fusion within a few weeks. If I don't, I could permanently be in a chair at the rate I am going. Have you hear whether or not you will be having yours done together or separately? And have you found out what to expect afterwards? oddly enough, it is actually hard to find good recovery information in regards to this surgery online. Please respond. It would be nice to know someone else who is going through this too.
  • My question to both of you is will this be done with the SI-BONE ifuse implant system? If so contact si-bone and there nurse consultant can forward your contact information to someone who had a bilateral si-joint fusion. Wish you both luck and keep us posted. Diane
    I had the SI-BONE ifuse implant procedure on August 6th 2012.
  • Gumballprincess: Sorry for the late response. I had my surgery January 10, 2013 and still recovering. It was not with the I-fuse. Considering the fact that my body rejected the donor bone twice, my surgeon didn't want to use anything like that again. Instead, he used plates and screws along with my own bone to close up my SI joints. Also, to do this, and to prevent the need to do one side at a time, he went through the back with two 4in cuts. Needless to say, it has be almost 3wks and am still on bed rest and using a walker when I have to get up. I am expected to remain on bed rest at least five more weeks. In all honest, it is too early to say that this fixed me, but I will keep everyone posted. As of now, I cannot do anything without help from my husband who has resigned bathing and dressing me as well as being my butler.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I hope that you are doing as well as can be. Please keep updating your progress. Everyone with SI Joint problems will appreciate you sharing your experience.

  • gumballprincessggumballprincess Posts: 81
    edited 02/01/2013 - 2:05 PM
    To - SSchmelz... I've been waiting for you to post something else or make a comment but you haven't. cclear39 had a bilateral si-joint fusion the old fashion way. :-) I had the SI-BONE ifuse implant system six months ago and have been doing the dance of joy since I woke up in the recovery room. Well, maybe not really then but definitely since I've been back to work at my Day Care Center I've literally been dancing with the children. You can read my story at http://www.spine-health.com/forum/pain/sacroiliac-si-joint-problems/ifuse-surgery which includes my e-mail address if you have any questions or wanna know details about anything else. Diane
    I had the SI-BONE ifuse implant procedure on August 6th 2012.
  • ccleer39cccleer39 Posts: 11
    edited 02/25/2013 - 4:26 PM
    Sunny1966, thank you for the kind words, and once again, sorry for the delay in the response. GUMBALLPRINCESS, you stated that that you had the Ifuse done and felt a difference rather quickly. Well, I have to say that I am thoroughly jealous. It has be almost 7weeks and I am still unable to walk without a walker and must use a wheelchair if I go places. I'm getting frustrated. Now, I will say that my body has proven that it is not like the average persons' body, therefore, the doctors really didn't know how I would recover. I'm still in pain all of the time and if I push myself to walk more, my legs literally try to stop working like it did before surgery. With that said, I will say that things are a little better, but not much. Everyone keeps saying that the littlest improvement is something, but if it is just to be able to shower without crying, I don't think that is much improvement.

    GUMBALLPRINCESS, did you have yours done bilaterally or individually? I heard that with the Ifuse, the prefer to do both sides individually. Anyways, because I don't get on the computer much right now, if anyone would like to chat/e-mail (it would be great to know others with the same problem as the normals don't fully understand) feel free to shoot me an e-mail. I would like to know how others are progress and what not. my e-mail is ccleer39@gmail.com. I hope everyone is doing well and look forward to responses.
  • Having surgery in a month. Combination of optimism and concern. Surgeon is Dr John York. Originally tore the labrum in my hip in the 90s. Took ten years to correctly diagnose. Developed Si pain and neuropathy leading to foot on opposite side. MRIs and X-rays of back are all negative. Numerous treatments including injections and meds. Nothing reduces pain other than pain meds. I try to avoid as much as possible. Plus my gait, ability to stand and walk are severely challenged. It's like I forgot how to walk. It's a very chronic 24/7 issue. Anybody have any words of encouragement?
  • I'm assuming you are having the SI-BONE iFuse Implant System. By any chance are you talking about a Dr.York in Virginia and if not where? Injections!! I'm assuming you had at least two positive Si-Joint injections. If after a si-joint injection all your si-pain was gone even if it was just for a couple hours till the nummy medicine wore off then you have nothing to be concern about. If you are still looking for any more words of encouragement read the following http://www.spine-health.com/comment/293203#comment-293203 and of course my story which is comment #4 on the following page http://www.spine-health.com/forum/pain/sacroiliac-si-joint-problems/ifuse-surgery also send me an e-mail and I will send you some information about post-op and of course answer any questions you might still have. Take care and talk to you later. Diane
    I had the SI-BONE ifuse implant procedure on August 6th 2012.
  • has anyone had si joint fusion si bone bilateral whats pain like after surgery any info would help getting mine done in a week
    anthony ramos
  • No one on here has had bi-lateral si-joint fusion of any kind that I know of. Myself and 1 or 2 other people who have had the iFuse procedure are still around if you want someone to talk to. Link to My Story - http://www.spine-health.com/comment/281420#comment-281420 which includes my e-mail address. I can send you my whole story, information about post-op, others stories, links to other stories and will answer any questions that you might have. I have 10 friend who have had the iFuse procedure since I met them and 3 more friends who will be having the procedure between today and the first of June. Link to my friend Jani's Story - http://www.spine-health.com/forum/pain/sacroiliac-si-joint-problems/ifuse Can I ask who is doing your procedure and the exact date? Diane
    I had the SI-BONE ifuse implant procedure on August 6th 2012.
  • Five months after Bi-lateral SI joint fusion, I have not recovered at all. Now, I have to have another surgery in August to redo it and to also redo my lumbar.
  • Who did your Bi-Lateral SI-Joint Fusion? When was your Lumbar Fusion? What all have they tried and did over the past 5 months? Are you seeing another doctor? Did you have a second opinion? *HUGS* Diane

    P.S. I told Margo what you said and she is very concern about you. You should give her a call or at least e-mail her.
    I had the SI-BONE ifuse implant procedure on August 6th 2012.
  • AmberWebberAAmberWebber Posts: 1
    edited 09/05/2013 - 5:56 PM
    I was diagnosed with DDD about 5 years ago and have since had my L3,4, 5 and sacrum fused. My thoracic 4,5,6,7 are degenerative, but Dr. will not touch. I had spinal stenosis in lumbar and recovery took FOREVER!!!

    I now have Neuropathy and drop foot in my left foot. I am heading out the door in 6 hours for SI Fusion on the right side. I did try the 2 blocks prior and they worked, so here we go again. My husband is fantastic and is always by my side, but I am concerned about recovery since it took forever for the last one. I have been told 6 weeks none weight bearing at this point. I know I will have a bone graft again and that was painful after.

    What can I do at home to help with pain and discomfort?
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  • WOW!!! About your previous fusions and your thoracic. You mentioned bone graft so I'm assuming you are having a traditional si-joint fusion. Can I ask where you are located? I hope and wish everything goes well for you which I'm sure it will. I had the iFuse procedure on August 6, 2012. The undescribable absolutely horribly positively miserable terrible pain from my waist down to the point that I couldn't think straight was gone the moment I woke up after the procedure and has never returned. The following is a link to My Story - http://www.spine-health.com/comment/281420#comment-281420 which includes my e-mail address. Take care, Diane
    I had the SI-BONE ifuse implant procedure on August 6th 2012.
  • Sorry, I have not been on for awhile. I had a 3 level laminectomy and a 4 level cervical fusion with severe spinal cord compression in Sep 2013. I still have moderate to severe low back pain. As I said previously, the Dr's are considering a bilateral SI joint fusion and now want to try the spinal cord stimulator. I am so freaking tired of pain , operations and physician rhetoric. When does it end?
    Stephen R Schmelz
  • I'm sorry for the ongoing pain you are having......I am including some information for you regarding spinal cord stimulation and we do have a forum where you can read and talk to others who have it.
    The one thing that I would caution you on, is if you do decide to undergo the trial for the scs , make sure that you are getting at least 50% relief in your regular pain levels. That is the standard set by the manufacturer's. If not, the trial is not considered successful and the manufacturer's don't recommend going ahead with the permanent implant.

    SCS Links


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