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Ifuse surgery

schoolgirl39sschoolgirl39 Posts: 7
edited 06/27/2012 - 1:42 PM in Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Problems
Anyone had the newer Ifuse method surgery done? Have suffered with lower back pain for years, scoliosis, arthritis, degeneration in lower lumbar, disc degeneration in neck. Have managed pain and avoided surgery that is needed in neck with physical therapy for past ten years, pain is nothing to SI joint pain. Past six months began having severe lower lumbar and upper buttock pain. Progressed rapidly and to extreme severity within one month time. Pain so severe unable to walk, sit or stand along with neurological symptoms, vision changes, muffled hearing, tremors,weight loss and pain to touch of whole back, Was put on Norco, Flexeril, valuim, Fentany patch, Aleve, and lidoderm patches, and was still in excruciating pain, only to be told over and over "we dont see anything that could be causing this" Took 3 months going from Dr. to Dr. to finally get a diagnosis of SI joint disfunction! The orthopedic Dr. who finally said he thought it was the SI joint said he could not help me but said to have pain management dr. do injections (which she reluctantly did saying she did not think that was what it was and hoped it would just go away), ortho dr. acted like it was a secret and did not want his staff or partners to know he had revealed this info to me, what a disgrace. My PT was the only other health professional that pointed to the SI joint, stating I was rotated, manipulations helped but exercises seemed to aggravate more pain. Changed pain management dr after that, found a great one who is compassionate, understanding, and willing to do what it takes to control my pain, she had a plan as soon as she reviewed my radiology and examined me. Have had 3 injections in SI joint, 1 time in piriformis muscle that showed being torn on last radiology, prolotherapy once. Get a little better then have set back again and again! I am 43, petite frame, only 100lbs. Changed from general PT to orthopedic PT hoping they will be more helpful. Finally found a orthopedic Dr. in area who actually believes in SIJD and does surgery, saw him last week, right before 3rd injection was to be done. Wants to see results from injection and another try at PT before moving further. If it does not work next step is RFA/rhizotomy/burning nerves around SI joint and possibly facet joint. If that does not work then maybe surgery. Only thing I have not tried is chiropractor, which I am kinda scared of but willing before RFA or surgery! Alot on net about old method of surgery, fusion with screws, but cant find anything on patients who have had new Ifuse method done except on their website, which I am not to sure about. Am currently managing with Norco and Flexeril, wih injections but still not able to live a normal life. Had to withdraw from college with only two semesters left when this happened, now stuck with 40,000 in student loans and unable to finish or work at this time!!!! Hoping for a miracle that this round of PT and injections work!!! The medical community needs to wise up and start researching this horrible condition, no one should have to live in this excruciating pain. We can send someone to the moon, do brain surgeries, organ transplants, and so many miraculous things, but we cant fix a disfunctional joint in the body, I dont get it. Millions are spent on research that is useless and pointless, why has this condition been so overlooked? And not to mention the countless back surgeries that have been done on people that failed because it was actually the SI joint. If it comes to surgery, I really need to hear from some people who have had the new Ifuse surgery done, please help.
elise janssen


  • I am planning to have my ifuse surgery in January. Have you had survey or gotten any information in it yet?
  • MangophilMMangophil Posts: 13
    edited 10/30/2012 - 8:43 PM
    I had the ifuse procedure three weeks ago. I had suffered from si pain for 8+ years and physicAl activities were greatly reduced. I had tried everything; supplements, injections, acupuncture, deep tissue therapy, chiropractor - I think I got some improvement and learned to manage pain with limited use and NSAIDs. The only thing I didn't try was a nerve block because my doc just thought it would be too temporary to bother with and insurance wanted all kinds of tests before per-cert.

    I am a 51 year old male and came across the ifuse procedure. I did a lot of research and found dr
    EDITED in Illinois who is quite experienced with ifuse so I relied upon his expertise! And now here I am still recovering from surgery but optimistic! I'd be happy to share more about the surgery and recovery if anyone is interested.

    Post edited to remove name of medical professional and or facility. by The Spine-Health Moderator Team
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  • I had a hypermoble left si-joint. In January 2009 it went out, twisted for the first time. Besides this horrible, terrible pain directly over my left si-joint I thought I was going to fall and grabbed a hold of the kitchen counter. I found out the feeling of being crocked or standing on your own in the middle of the room but your brain was telling you that you can't stand is due to proprioceptors in your si-joint. In December 2010 I took a 5 week leave of absence with the intention to start pain management, have a si-joint injection, continue physical therapy and try to strengthen my core muscles to stabilize my pelvic bone, si-joint. I did manage to go back to work part time in May 2011 for 5 weeks after my first si-joint injection and then again for 2 days in May 2012 after my 5th injection. LOL

    My Pain - I refered to it as a Bull's Eye. It was directly over my left si-joint and extended 6 inches in all directions. In January 2012 I could stand up and move around for about 45 minutes before the pain hit a #7. It would continue to the point that you couldn't think straight and no longer stand up. For the 6 weeks pryer to the surgery I stood up for 5 minutes here and there but only managed to stand up for 20 minutes in the morning to freshin up and change my cloths, 20 minutes in the afternoon to straighten the kitchen from the night before and 20 minutes in the evening to take something out of the oven and make a salad. I was going to physical once a week just to get out of the house and stop by the grocery store to pick up lettuce, tomatoes, milk and bread.Also doing a self adjusting exercise 3 or 4 times a day and was defiantly out of line every 24 to 48 hours.

    The procedure - I was very surprised that I woke up with no SI-Joint pain what so ever and it has not returned. From what I was told and had read I thought I was going to be using crutches for at least 3 weeks. I was up and walking around on my own an hour after I got to my room. I just spent the night as a precaution and was released first thing the next morning. As far as restrictions, no bending or lifting anything over 10lbs and no twisting but that was only for 2 weeks. I've been doing just about nothing for so long that I personally have experienced a lot of muscle pain. I started physical therapy at 3 weeks post-op for muscle pain but the other 4 people who my neurosurgeon did the procedure on never complained about any aches or pains and never went to physical therapy.

    2 week post-op appointment, my restrictions were lifted - By then I was walking a mile. Could actually get my stuff ready, shave, take a shower, wash my hair, get dressed and put my clothes in the hamper. I was finally able to stand up long enough to make dinner and didn't have to just throw something in the oven. I made spaghetti for the first time in god knows how long. Could finally catch up on the laundry and straighten my house up. At 4 weeks post-op I went to Walmart for the first time in like two years, walked around for 3 hours.

    6 week post-op appointment, was released from my doctors care - I was told I could go back to work and do anything I wanted, except bungee jumping. I started back to work but that's only because of muscle pain and has nothing to do with my si-joint or the surgery. I can finally work in my garden. I'm putting my house back together, finding a place for everything and putting everything in it's place. I don't think I'm gonna power wash the house but I am gonna wash the windows and change the curtains which I haven't did since the fall on 2008.

    Feel free to ask me any questions here or email me at lady.di@comcast.net
    I had the SI-BONE ifuse implant procedure on August 6th 2012.
  • What's all happened since your post? As far as I'm concern you have been throw enough and should be able to just have the procedure. After going back and forth to Physical Therapy for almost 2 years I said I'M DONE!!! and I'M TIRED OF THIS!!! He told me to quit work, start pain management and have a si-joint injection. After playing around with the pain management doctor for 5 months, trying different medicines and having 2 epidurals, he finally agreed to give me a si-joint injection. It worked, I went back to work for 5 weeks till it wore off and my si-joint went out again. 6 weeks later while laying on the table getting my 2nd injection I asked what was next. He said the burning of the nerve thing. I came home and did some research online. What!! That's gonna last a year if I'm lucky and I will be in the same boat I'm in now. I continued looking for a permanent solution and that's when I came across SI-BONE and the iFuse Implant System. I contacted them and got the names of a couple doctors in my area who were trained to do the procedure.
    I had the SI-BONE ifuse implant procedure on August 6th 2012.
  • If I calculated correctly your now like 6 weeks post-op. Did you use crutches and or a walker or were you lucky enough to be up and walking on your own right after the procedure? I think you used the word optimistic. Did your incisions turn hard as a rock and bother you for a couple weeks? Did you have muscle pain in your buttocks on the other side/the good side? Did your hamstrings/your upper thigh locked up for the first 48 hours? What about the muscles all the way down your leg on the side you had the surgery? Have you seen, do you have a set of Post-op activity guidelines from SI-BONE? Have you started physical therapy, do you wanna go or is there no need for it. Thanks, Diane
    I had the SI-BONE ifuse implant procedure on August 6th 2012.
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  • Hey GBP,

    I just had my 4 week post op follow up on 11-7-2012 and all is progressing well. I am posting my account under the topic: "iFuse Surgery - Synopsis" so you might check that thread for more details of my experiences. But to try and answer a few of your questions on this thread.
    Pain from the incision itself has mostly not unnoticeable. That is, the bruising in the buttocks and bone trauma dominated my senses. The incision and all the other stuff did keep me from sleeping on my right side for 3 weeks. My dr used internal dissolving sutures so the incision is a little stiff but for the most part has remained supple.
    I did not have any muscle pain in my good side. As for hamstrings, what has happened is the bruising from the surgery moved around and has stiffened at times various parts of my leg; starting in the buttocks, the hip and certainly the hamstring all the way down to the back of my knee. The first two weeks the bruising kept me limping and made it difficult to sit. Now at 4 weeks everything is pretty free; still some slight soreness in the hamstring but nothing significant. Now I am starting to notice pain in the SI bones; I think it has always been there only the post surgery pain dominated my senses. My dr says the SI bones will occassionally throb for months as the bones continue to heal and fuse.
    As I said, I will post more on all this on the other thread; PHil aka MangoPhil
  • edited 11/15/2012 - 4:37 PM
    I am a 40 y/o mom of 4. My SI joint was torn during the birth of my first son in 1997. I have had typical SI pain since then without relief. Living in rural wv, it has been hard to find a doctor to take the injury seriously. I had one doctor tell me that he has the same problem and he just uses an ice pack a few times a day. Another told me that I chose to have children so I could not complain. Good grief! Finally contacted IFuse and found a surgeon only 2 hours away. We are meeting next wensday to schedule surgery for December. I work at a college and need to be back at work the 1st week of February. My dr believes in non-weight bearing for 6 weeks. Any thoughts on this? I have to have the surgery, especially when doctors here refuse to prescribe pain medicine (too many addicts in his state). I am not graceful on crutches, so I hope I don't fall too much.
  • OMG!!! About the doctor you saw and what he said. Read my story above if you haven't already and of course you can e-mail me with more questions. I'm very glad you finally contacted SI-BONE and found a doctor, not close but not to far away. Depending on what your job requirements are depends on if you can go back at 4 and or 6 weeks post-op. The following is from an e-mail to me directly from si-bone. "Post-operative care is up to the surgeon as they know what is best based on your medical history. Most patients stay one night in the hospital. Sometimes insurance dictates these types of decisions. General guidelines for weight bearing are 3 weeks partial weight bearing using crutches or a walker with advancing as tolerated to full weight bearing by 6 weeks. Again your surgeon will give you instructions. Many patients go to PT following this procedure for instructions on bending, twisting, lifting limitations , etc." As you can see si-bone doesn't even say non-weight bearing and definitely not for 6 weeks. On Wednesday ask your doctor how many times he's did the procedure, were all his patients non-weight bearing for the whole 6 weeks and kinda how there all were doing at 6 weeks post-op. Take care, Diane
    I had the SI-BONE ifuse implant procedure on August 6th 2012.
  • So I met with the doctor again. He admits that he has only done a few Ifuse SI Joint Fusions, and therefore is very conservative in his treatment. But he was trained by IFuse, and he is well respected in his profession (He ADMITS that the SI Joint is painful. That says a lot!). I have to have another MRI, due to concerns that I might have a disc problem also. I was worried he might cancel the surgery, but surprisingly is willing to consider doing two procedures at once (praying its not necessary)! In a perfect world I would like to have a more experienced doctor with IFuse, but I am so very happy to have one doctor where before I had no hope. My surgery is scheduled the 3rd of January. I am ecstatic and terrified. My pain level is rarely below a 5 now, and thats on the "new" scale. (I was informed that if you are at a 6 or above you can't walk...I guess labor pain is a 5 cause I walked with every one of them LOL). The worst this is how much I have to get done to make it through the holidays and train my 3 replacements so I can take off for surgery! It will be worth it though. My biggest question is what is the post-op pain like. I can't take strong pain medicine, so I am a little worried...
  • gumballprincessggumballprincess Posts: 81
    edited 11/30/2012 - 12:25 AM
    My si-joint pain was gone when I woke up after the procedure. Could I have gotten away with taking Tylenol or Motrin? Probably but I had been in horrible-terrible-miserable-I can't think straight pain for so long that I didn't even wanna feel a little ache. I continued taking the same dosage of pain medicine a couple times a day like I had been but unlike before the procedure it actually made all my little aches and little pains go away. I have several new ifuse friends that I've been talking to/emailing. One is having the procedure on Monday, December 3rd and another one is having it on December 17th. If you email me I will let you know how their procedure went, what their restrictions are and post-op pain. Diane
    I had the SI-BONE ifuse implant procedure on August 6th 2012.
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