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Recovery Questions - Post-Op S.I. Joint Fusion

On 2/5/18 I had an S.I. Joint fusion on my left side. S.I. Bone iFuse implants. I’m 40 and in perfect health except for back issues. I had L4-L5 laminectomy, foraminotomy and L5-S1 discectomy on 6/28/2017. 

All of this damage was caused as a result of being a courier for UPS for 13 years. I am 3 weeks out from fusion surgery. Surgeon will not commit to timeframes and continually reminds me that everyone is different in regard to results and healing. My general questions for anyone who has had an S.I. joint fusion are:

1. If you had a physical job like mine or hobbies (running, golf, etc.) were you able to eventually return to them? I love the work that I do and at this point in my life a career change would be difficult.

2. When did you trust that you were healed or healing enough to resume or engage in being more active? I have X-rays and regular upcoming visits scheduled with surgeon. Mentally, I expect to be concerned about re-injury and being over cautious.

3. Surgeon expects full recovery without limitations if all goes well. From what I’ve read, fusion takes 6-12 months to fully occur. Once the joint has fused and with the implants I expect to be better off and stronger than I was prior. Is this too optimistic? As of right now I still intend on returning to my job as a courier and continuing the joys of golfing, running, and hiking. Prior to these issues I was a very active individual.

Courious to hear about other experiences with this procedure and the ultimate long-term (hopefully positive) results. 

Thank you for your time and insight,

Lee


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Comments

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,261

    hello lee
    welcome to spine-health

    i believe it is possible. i've always said, the surgeon did his job now the rest is left up to you. take care of your back, don't bend or twist or pick up anything, and walk. 
    i was 60 when i had surgery from l2-l6 (i have an extra!) with hardware and bone grafts. i took my recovery very serious and within a few months was riding my harley again. but due to other complications it did not last. but stay positive!! below is a link that might help you.
    recovery, the most important phase 

    while you are waiting on other members to reply, please click on the welcome link below and tutorial for more information.
    welcome to spine health


    take care and please keep us updated.
    Sandra
    Veritas-Health Moderator
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my  Medical History
  • Hi Lee - I had a left SI joint fusion surgery on 6/27/17 using the minimally invasive iFuse. It was not "minimal" and I'm still recovering (I hope). I am small-boned and the surgery left me with incredible pain from the implants. My surgeon blew me off after 12 weeks and I was refused all pain medication to aid in my recovery. I did everything asked of me and still am suffering, especially when sitting, laying down. I fear I may have switched one pain for another even more intolerable situation. I've heard it can take one year or more to fully recover and I remain hopeful. Before the surgery, I had SI joint pain for 23 years (Ankylosing Spondylitis). Can you please let me know how you are doing? I was told I'd be back to work in 12 weeks, and as of now I'm still not able to return. I hope you had and/or are having a more positive experience. Take care! 

    Robyn

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  • Good morning, I will be having bilateral SI Joint fusions in June.  I have had two fusions to my L4-S1 (Standard fusion through the back and an ALIF through the front to stabilize it a year and a half later).   I have also had my C4-C6 fused all as a result of  I a severe MVA in 2014.  As of last month my fusions are still incomplete but my hardware is intact.  My pain is almost unbearable and I am hoping this bilateral SI Joint fusion will help.  I am asking for information from anyone who has had BILATERAL SI joint fusions for information on both the surgery and recovery.  I am 59 years old and in fair health.

    Thank you in advance for any information you can give me.

    Rachael 

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