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Low back pain caused by si joint fusion

Nr9chaseNNr9chase Posts: 4
edited 04/04/2015 - 10:58 AM in Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Problems
Please help! I am a very disparate 23 year old man. In august of 2012 i was working as heavy equip. mechanic when i woke up one morning with some sharp pain on either top side of my gluteus. Long story short it was thought my si joints was to blame from an atv accident that happened in 08. I had a steroid injection into the facet joints in my back first. That only made my pain worse. Then it was on to the si joints with 2 more series of injections. Those worked for about 2 hrs so im guessing it was the local anesthetic taking the pain away. Went on to a osteopathic dr and he gave me an si belt. Said my si joints were torn. He would line my pelvis up, apply the belt and send me on my way. Belt worked for about 3 months then stopped. Started to look towards surgical help. Had a fusion done to my left si joint in may of 2014. My pain has doubled shortly after. The surgeon makes it hard to see him and ive tried multiple things to relieve my pain since. Including more injections, PT, medications, and nothing has worked. Also after my fusion i found that my left leg was one half of an inch shorter than my right. So its no wonder i couldn't stay lined up in my pelvis. Im concerned that when the si joint was fused it was fused with pelvis at the wrong angle because i didn't know about my leg length discrepancy yet. Ive been tested for every known disease that causes my pain. After the si joint fusion my pain stopped being sharp on the gluteus and focused on my lumbar part of my back. Anyone know if the fusion can be reversed? Ive looked for drs that have done reversals but come up short?I had two screws put in the joint not the ifuse dowels. I am currently on 10 mg of oxycodone four times a day and that only now is taking the edge off. I live in maine and every Dr i get doesn't know what is going on and cant help. Does anyone know of any good Dr that has done fusions but has also seen complications like this and has done reversals of the si fusion? Or maybe yourself or a friend has gone through a similar experience. I have been out of work for over two years because of this problem. It has cost me everything i loved doing and has effected my family in a negative way as well. Please. I need help. Im willing to go anywhere and try anything. Thank you so much!

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Nicholas chase


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I'm so sorry that you're going through this. Have you seen another surgeon for a 2nd/3rd opinion? In you're position I'd ask every medical person you have contact with (other than your surgeon) for the best board certified spine surgeon within traveling distance, take all of your diagnostic reports & get as many opinions as you can. I wouldn't be looking for someone to reverse the fusion (yet) that could make it hard to get care. It's a surgeons job to tell you the best course of action. They don't want a patient telling them what to do! Best of luck.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Thank you so much im traveling to boston soon for another opinion. Thanks again.
    Nicholas chase
  • Hi, like you, I have been diagnosed with a right torn SI joint. But that diagnosis was made after years of dealing with excuciating pain, many dr. appts., chiropractic appts., x-rays, scans, injections, pain medications, attending a pain management program for six weeks, etc...... Needless to say after years of suffering and told it was all in my head, I was finally sent to a physcial medicine doctor who got to the bottom of it. She sent me in for an arthrogram scan, where they inject die right into the joint. I believe this is the only way they can truly tell if it is torn. Although, the procedure to get the results were so painful, I was happy to finally have a proper diagnosis.

    The doctor I worked with was involved with a SI group of doctors and physical therapists who met monthly to have their own discussions, etc. I was also lucky enough to have been working with a physcial therapist at my local hospital who was also in this group of elite professionals so I was covered on both ends. Both suggested that I have prolo therapy injections because I was told surgery wasn't a fix at the time and if I opted for that choice, I would be locked into one postion the rest of my life. Not an option for me. At the time, I had five children home and was working a full time secretarial job and had just started another part time job waitressing to help my daughter who would begin having college expenses in the fall at the time of the injury.

    Approximately six years ago, I went through six months of prolo-therapy injections every two weeks. It worked, but I was told that it would not be permanent and that I probably would have to go through it again. This was a miracle for me and it has given me my life back. Last fall, while weeding which I shouldn't have been doing, I had a reaccurance and ended up seeing my physical therapist again at least twice a week. I began prolo therapy injections again, injecting both sides of the SI, and right now it is stable. I continue to be on daily meds and occasionally need adjustments but so far, so good.

    This has been a long road and not an easy fix by no means. My primary physician recently told me that she has another patient who also had a tear in the SI, who had surgery but she hadn't had a follow up with him to know how he is doing. I am anxious to hear if there are new treatments and/or surgery to repair the damage that's been done.

    I wish you well.
  • Im sorry to hear about your struggle. I dont know if you've felt this before but since i posted my story my back pain has altered some. I still have the same dull ache but now my lower back right arm and shoulders feel tingly. Like if your arm fell asleep and were starting to wake up? Anyways i cant thank all of you enough to take the time to help me. Ive got to call my dr tomorrow anyways so ill ask him about that. Still waiting on referral to boston. Ill be in touch.
    Nicholas chase
  • A fusion is possible but like in my case im worse that i was. But we dont know what causes it yet. Maybe my other joint needs to be fused who knows. Ive herd lots of storys about si fusions and people afterward being normal again so hard to say.
    Nicholas chase
  • When I read what all of you have been through it makes me crazy and so
    sad that you have found no relief. I hope there will be some way that you
    find the right doctor or procedure to help you.
    I have been in pain for the last 15 years back and leg problems, but in the
    past months a new kind of pain in some different places developed. Before
    this I thought I had experienced the worst but I was wrong. I finally got a
    Doctor to listen and be tested for the SI joint and he did some of the tests
    plus I had an injection in that area. It lowered the burning and some of the pain
    for a few days but now has started up again, so now he wants me to do therapy
    and is trying to clear another injection with Medicare.
    Did you have a burning, throbbing in your hip, butt and over into your upper
    leg around to the upper part of your groin? Also the lower back is constant aching.
    It is a pain like you cannot stand anything touching and bending just sends the pain
    level sky high. To go to the bathroom, sit in the tub, sitting, sleeping is hell.
    My pain medication barely touches the pain (I have developed a tolerance) and I dread therapy.
    I would appreciate so much your in-put so I know I am sort of headed in the
    right direction.
    Once again my heart goes out to you for what you have and are going through
    and please keep posting what is going on with you.
    Take Care
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