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Having surgery soon

I posted here several times before telling of the process of my getting from point A to point B. As I'm sure you all know, when you first start having back problems, they're not quickly resolved (far from it). So after various types of injections in my L5-S1 and my sacroiliac joint, we're now certain that my pain generator is my si joint. After my second positive injection, my ortho leaned over me and said, "Now I know what I needed to know. I can do the fusion." I'm glad that he wanted to be absolutely sure that that is the problem; otherwise, I'd go into the surgery wondering. He said that he's done a handful of this type of surgery, so at least I'm not his first one, although I realize that someone has to be. He told me that the surgeries he's done have all been successes, and he thinks that a big reason why some (in general) aren't is that the people being operated on don't have an si problem. It's kind of hard to have a successful surgery if you're being operated on for one thing but your pain generator is another.

I am having my surgery done on March 11. My orthopedic surgeon's office coordinated with other offices to set up appointments that I'll be needing. This week I have to go in to my physician's office for an EKG and lab work. Next week I have to go back to that same office for a physical. The ortho's office still has to set up an appointment for me with the pre-admission's people at the hospital, which will probably be either on March 1 or 6.

I'm so looking forward to being out of this miserable pain! Now I just have to map out how I'm going to do things and get from one place to another in the house. We live in a two-story house, so attempting the steps would be a very difficult task after surgery, so I'm going to be sleeping downstairs and go to a local gym to take a shower. I've never been on crutches before or used a walker, so this will be a new experience for me.

True, I'd rather not have titanium rods sticking in my body, but at this point, I don't see that I have a choice. I'm just glad that there is this method of fusing the si joint. I can't imagine how people years ago put up with this pain the rest of their lives. It makes me really happy to think that I'll be able to do things again. Because of my pain I've been limited to washing the dishes and doing a few other little jobs every day, but I'm only a fraction of the person who I used to be. I want to get my life back again and if having my si joint fused using the iFuse method will do that for me, then I'm all for it.
Had SI-Joint Fusion done using iFuse on March 11, 2013


  • Are they fusing both sides ? Or just the 1side ?

    Wish you the best of luck, I think your doctor is right , Many people have si joint issues and having the wrong surgery just puts more stress on it and then they are at a loss ,

    Let us know how it turns out, Not sure how you going to drive to the gym to shower after the surgery, You can always call the local fire dep to come hose you down untill you heal ,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • He's just fusing my right side, the side that bothers me all of the time. When he had asked me where it hurts and I pointed to that spot, that's when he started suspecting that my si joint was/is my pain generator. He never even mentioned that both sides might be the problem.

    Thanks for the well wishes. I know I'll be nervous when it comes down to it, but I'm going to try to remember that this could make my life so much better. I hate to think otherwise. Ha, yes, I guess I could ask the fire department to hose me down. lol I don't think I'll have to though because my husband said that he'd drive me to the gym so that I could take a shower. They said there that he could even go back with me to help me. They'd just have to watch for people heading towards the locker room and intercept them. I'm already wondering how I'm going to accomplish things being on crutches, but at least it's only for 3 weeks.

    I'll let you know how it turns out.
    Had SI-Joint Fusion done using iFuse on March 11, 2013
  • Ok cool so you have a driver, I thought for a minute you thinking of driving yourself,
    Your husband geting cought in the woman's shower at the gym , hmmm You beter bring bail money !

    Just tell the cops you never seen that man in your life and he walked in on ya,

    Best wishes,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I just want to mention the shower issue. You might want to buy or rent a shower chair or get a plastic chair. If he has you non weight bearing on one side, you don't want the crutches in the shower. Very slippery. I am terrible at the walker and crutches. I reccomend seeing if you could get a wheelchair if you are not string in the upper arms. Its helped make my recovery much more comfortable. I use a walker, crutches and wheelchair, depending on what I am doing.
  • Alex, Yeah, wouldn't that be no so great if some gal comes walking in when my husband is in there with me. Yeah, if the cops come, I'll pretend I don't know him. ;-)

    Jennifer, I've been thinking about buying a shower chair because like you said, I thought that maybe it would be slippery in there trying to maneuver with crutches. I wish that I knew someone who has a spare wheelchair that they could loan me. I don't know what it would cost to rent one for 3 weeks. I know that the hall going from the gym door to the locker room is awfully long, and I don't have much strength in my upper arms. Now I'm wondering if I'll be able to pull this off as far as getting around.

    Had SI-Joint Fusion done using iFuse on March 11, 2013
  • Ask your Dr for a prescription for a weelchair and buy crutches at walmart. If you don't feel like you can safely get around on crutches/walker refuse to leave the hospital. Tell them you do not feel safe on them and they will pretty much have to help. They wont want yo risk you falling. I am pretty sure they will listen. You can also try craigslist and ebay! For the shower take a bright pink sign and hang up saying MEN IN HERE! That will get their notice LOL!
  • I just called up to the gym to explain my concerns about probably not being able to make it down that long hallway using crutches. I actually called to see if they'd know of a way I could use a wheelchair just in there (I would be using a walker and/or crutches at home), and she said she'd call over to the senior center, which is right next door.. But then she thought of a good plan. She said that there's actually a fire exit door at the end of that hallway that they could open for us (my husband and I) if he'd come in and tell them that we're there. He could drive right around the building to within just a few feet of that door and the door to the locker room is just inside on the left. I was even told that they could hang a sign up on the door to the locker room saying that it was temporarily closed. She said they don't really get many people going during the day anyway, which is when we would be going up.

    Thanks for your suggestions though. I hope that you're coming along fine after your surgery. I often think about you and others who have had the operation and wonder how you're doing.

    Had SI-Joint Fusion done using iFuse on March 11, 2013
  • I had my iFuse SI joint fusion done on Monday morning, and the doctor said that it went very well. He said that I have nice thick bones and he doesn't anticipate any problems. After having that horrific back pain for so long, I almost don't know how to act without it. It's just so different, and I couldn't be more pleased! I have butt cheek pain, which I'll put up with any day instead of the si joint pain that I had. This pain is only temporary though. I've been putting ice on the area (thanks, Diane) and I'm sure that's helping.

    We got at the hospital at 6:00 AM and the operating room people came to my pre-op room a little before 7:45 to whisk me away. The one nurse put a knock-out med in the iv in my left arm (I had one in each arm) and within 15 or 20 seconds I got really dizzy, said goodbye to my husband, and don't remember much after that. When I woke up in the recovery room, the pain was bad and they gave me more morphine and then dilaudid and switched back to morphine. As far as I know, that's what I got throughout the day and night. I was groggy all day but didn't take a nap. My stomach was fine all day until about 11:00 that night, got close to throwing up but didn't. The nurse gave me things for my queasy stomach, so I guess that helped. I finally fell asleep around 4:30 in the morning and got about 2 hours sleep before nurses, etc. were going in and out of the room and I ate breakfast. The one nurse took my catheter out that morning since they wanted me to get out of bed since I was going home that day.

    The physical therapy people stopped by twice that day before I left and showed me how to use a walker. They attempted to show me how to use crutches to get up a couple of steps to come into the house, but they could see that I was a fall risk and got a wheelchair for me instead, so now I use a walker and a wheelchair here at home.

    My husband has been a huge help to me and has been waiting on me and doing all of the household chores. He was pretty used to doing that anyway since I had become basically handicapped before the surgery with my si joint pain and sat all day. We haven't attempted to go to the rec center yet so that I can take a shower. So far it's been working out pretty well washing here at the sink.

    It's difficult to get into our tiny bathroom with the walker and I have to sidestep to get in there. Then once I'm in and situated, I push the walker out of the door a little so that I have room to move around a little. I have to start using the walker more, I suppose. So far I've been relying on the wheelchair a lot. I was given exercises to do at home and have been doing them fairly well, although could be better about it. I'm sleeping downstairs in our living room on a bed (my bedroom is actually upstairs, but I don't want to even attempt steps until after the 3 weeks of non-weight bearing that my dr. wants me to have).

    I was prescribed hydrocodone for the pain, of which there is little. I take a pill every 4 hours and if the minimal pain continues (as compared to a lot of pain), I might not even have to get the 2 refills that are on the prescription. It's nice to know that they're there though in case I need them.

    I don't regret having the surgery done at all. I have a feeling that things will only go uphill from here, and I'm really looking forward to getting back to a normal life again.


    Had SI-Joint Fusion done using iFuse on March 11, 2013
  • I wish you a speedy recovery :)
    Take Care.
  • Your very welcome. :-) Now just remember to RUB-RUB-RUB. You can even have that sweet husband of yours massage the area around your incision. My physical therapist rubbed and massaged my incision and the area around it till I was 7 weeks post-op. Finally at 7 weeks post-op he could not see or feel any swelling and or scar tissue. The rubbing and massaging of your incision and area around it will help in the long run so that scar tissue will not build up in that area. Diane
    I had the SI-BONE ifuse implant procedure on August 6th 2012.
  • I'm glad that you reminded me about that because I forgot. Does it matter how often and the duration every day that it gets rubbed? I'm sure that my husband won't mind doing that because you know what a great help he has been to me. As you know, I'm happy to report that I feel great, but I have to take a nap every day because I get tired.
    Had SI-Joint Fusion done using iFuse on March 11, 2013
  • I don't know if it matters how often or the duration that it gets rubbed? I would say as long as you do it a total of 3 minutes every day till your 6 week post-op appointment you will be fine. I personally rubbed mine here and there throwout the day. Oh ya!!! Even though it's a MIS you will be exhausted. Diane
    I had the SI-BONE ifuse implant procedure on August 6th 2012.
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