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Ever had a SI joint fusion?

CMatthewCCMatthew Posts: 49
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am just looking for anyone who has had a SI joint fusion done before? I'm looking at possibly having one done in the near future and was wondering how long or hard the recovery is? And how beneficial it was in the long run? I have been out of work now for two and a half years now due to a work injury and have gone through everything trying to fix me without surgery. i have a consultation in two weeks which more than likely will lead to this surgery, so any one out there I would love some feedback. Thank you for your time.


  • Hi,

    I'm not sure if this is the answer you're looking for but I just had fusion of S1 to L5 (and L5 to L4) 5 weeks ago. Cannot yet report on long term results, obviously.

    Are you talking about having S1 fused to S2? or more. Is that your question?

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • Sorry can't tell you about fusion but you've said that you've tried everything but have you tried Prolotherapy to stabilize the back? It may be worth a try before trying fusion.
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  • Wow, I didn't even know they did that until you mentioned it! Thank you for teaching me something new!

    Inchworm, I think he means actual fusion of the SI joint. It is not a common procedure, but it is done in cases of severe SI dysfunction.

    I hope you get some feedback. Please keep us posted!
  • Yes I am talking about my SI joint being fused. My major issue is what they call an upslip of the pelvis slash hip. It was caused when the wall of granite fell on me 2 1/2 yrs ago. It caused the right side to move up almost two inches and I have seen DRs for the past two yrs who could not find the source of my pain, but I was having tons of nerve pain and back pain. I did suffer two small fractures in two of my vertebrae and a couple bulged discs but the main problem is getting the pelvis and hip back down even with the left side. My legs are both 34 inches long but when i'm laying down and put my legs together my right foot is almost 2 inches shorter. It causes a lot of problems with the center of your body being off i'll tell you that. It isn't a common procedure by any means which is why I'm trying to find someone with a lil input. Thank you all for your comments so far and i will keep you updated.
  • Hi CMatthew,
    I too hope that someone will post their SI joint fusion experience as I am looking for this information as well. I only know of one person that has had this done and the outcome was not favorable. From what my surgeon tells me, there is a renewed interest in SI joint dysfunction but it remains a very difficult thing to diagnose. Would you mind sharing what you have done to diagnose your SI joint dysfunction and the symptoms you have?

    SI-Bone has advertised their MIS SI joint fusion approach on this site. Have you looked at this procedure? Do you know what procedure your surgeon uses? If you go through with the fusion, I hope you will post your experience. I wish you well on this journey.
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  • Very interesting (well probably not for you) about the discrepancy in hip placement between the right and the left pelvis. Since my fusion I've felt like I am off center. My right hip feels higher and rotates slightly to the left while my left hip feels like it is sitting lower. Using an SI belt helps to a degree but does not resolve the nerve pain. It only enables me to walk slightly easier. Do you find it difficult to walk? I cannot walk more than 30ft without having to stop and often times my right leg cannot bear weight. Additionally, I cannot take a normal stride. By any chance do you have these symptoms?

    Thanks in advance for sharing.
  • yes I cannot bear weight on my right foot at all and when I sit I have to stay off of my Right cheek. My Siatic nerve is under a ton of stress because my ligaments and muscles all around are not doing what they are supposed to. I too wear a SI belt but does not do much for me. Mine is on 24 hrs a day 7 days a week. I even have one for the shower. They have been trying to manually pull down and stimulate the right leg to get me back into place then put the belt on hoping it will stay but it just goes right back the way it was within hrs after I leave there office. I see a specialist once a week who specializes in this area and then I go to a phys. ther. for 3 days a week for the same manual stimulation. i have recently stopped going to the PT because when I leave its just like re injuring myself all over again. So my specialist has set up a consult with a surgeon who is known for his great work in this kind of fusion. There aren't many here in Minnesota who do it but This Surgeon even travels over to Europe to teach and demonstrate this surgery along with here in the US. So I will be seeing him in a few weeks and definitely keep you informed.
  • I am shocked how similar our symptoms are. I too have been wearing my SI belt day in and day out ever since I figured out that it gives me the ability to sit, stand and walk better. Do you have a special belt for the shower? Unlike you I have been completely unable to find someone who can help me figure all this out. I've had to piece together all my symptoms and research this on my own. I am fairly sure I know of the surgeon that you are seeing. I'll be curious if he uses the percutaneous approach. Did you look at the SI-bone site and check out the MIS approach? I wonder if the surgeon you are seeing uses it. Thank you so much for sharing your situation. This an extremely frustrating, painful and life limitating problem. Good luck with your appointment I hope you get some good information that helps you decide what to do next. I'll be looking for your updates and wishing you the best.
  • Yes this is not easy for DRs to find if they don't take the time to look into it. Some have yet to believe that is an actual thing. It took 2 1/2 yrs of DRs saying you have healed fine and we don't see any physical (MRI, Bone Scan, etc.) findings to back the kind of pain you are experiencing. Then A DR that said there is nothing wrong with me anymore and I need to start a work hardening program at a local PT place near me. It was there that the very 1st day I walked in there the PT said to me you have an upslip with your hip/pelvis and it has your SI joint out of whack to put it bluntly. From there he explained to me and sent me to a specialist that deals with these types of problems and other rare back issues and this DR explained everything with great detail and it all made so much sense finally and I don't feel like I am crazy anymore! He wasn't able to stabilize my SI joint which is why he is setting up the consult with this surgeon who has used for two other of his patients and he is actually coming with me for it. It is great to have somebody actually care and follow up on things the way he has. I will keep you updated and let you know things as I find them out and hopefully it will help you as well 1994SanFrancisco.
  • I just met a customer of mine (new one) yesterday who had his done. They fused the SI to one hip (he said) does that sound right? He said he was out riding 4 wheelers less than 2 months out (against the doctors orders) but felt great after 2 weeks.

    He was a young man early 30's- he had been injured something fell on him and that was the only option to stablize.

    Sorry I don't have more details.

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