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SI Joint pain after L5 Fusion?

I am 3 months post op from an L5, S1 fusion and I am still in a lot of pain. I went to my dr. 2 weeks ago and he now thinks I may have SI joint pain, and is sending me for another injection in that joint. I truly believed that I would be out of pain by this time and can't believe he now feels I might have a "loose" SI joint too. The fusion is healing really well so I think he is stumped as to why I am still in so much pain in my lower back and buttocks.
Has anyone else experienced this after a fusion, and if so, did you have anything done with the SI joint? My dr says the injection will actually help him diagnose this problem and may require another surgery.
I was doing aqua therapy for the past month and really didn't get much relief, my dr said I could stop that until after the injection this week.
Do you do any type of other therapy to help with the SI joint pain? I'm not even sure that this is the problem.
I'd appreciate any advice.
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Comments

  • is such a short time frame in the recovery of a fusion surgery. Most surgeons tell you that it can take up to a year or more in some cases before the fusion is set and complete for the patient's recovery process.
    The big problem is that a fusion changes the way that the spine works. The spine is meant to bend, twist, and flex and the fusion process takes two segments of the spine and then causes them to become one longer segment, which no longer has the flexibility to do what it is meant to do, which is going to cause problems in other areas of the hips and spine in my opinion.
    It might be that there is some muscle relearning that needs to occur, and that the fusion has not healed completely yet, and your body is still acclimating to the new alignment..if the injections offer you some relief, before going ahead with yet another surgery, I might want to wait a bit and see how things continue to progress for the recovery of your fusion.
  • Thank you Sandi for the advice and encouragement. My husband keeps asking if I'm still supposed to be in this much pain and I tell him from what I've read here, it can last for up to a year. I guess I was hoping for immediate healing and my dr did say to allow 8 mos for full healing. It's a little different pain now so I'm hoping maybe the injection will make a difference with this new pain, and I truly do not plan on having more surgery at this point.
    Maybe I just need to continue with the physical therapy, and continue to stretch and walk to strengthen those muscles and tendons.
    I really appreciate the advice on the fusion, my surgeon did not really tell me a lot about what to expect after it was fused, so I've learned a lot on this site. Have a great day.
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  • i would recommend reading this article: https://www.cnn.com/2013/09/18/health/back-pain-misdiagnosis-shamie/.

    i had back pain for 3 years, but no one wanted to fuse my l5-s1 because i'm very young at only 28 and they worried about inter segmental instability. after seeing over a dozen surgeons and specialists, i finally found a group of surgeons who after 4 months of testing, diagnosed my pain as stemming primarily from my si joint. i have total degeneration at two levels of my lumbar, but i've been told that too many surgeons rely only on what the mri tells them and can miss or disregard the si joint. i don't know your medical situation and i'm not a doctor, but it's possible that like many others, your si joint was the culprit to begin with. i recently had the new ifuse surgery for my si joint and my surgeon was very experienced with the issue. i would highly suggest finding a surgeon who specializes in si dysfunction who can properly screen you for this issue.
  • i would recommend reading this article: https://www.cnn.com/2013/09/18/health/back-pain-misdiagnosis-shamie/.

    i had back pain for 3 years, but no one wanted to fuse my l5-s1 because i'm very young at only 28 and they worried about inter segmental instability. after seeing over a dozen surgeons and specialists, i finally found a group of surgeons who after 4 months of testing, diagnosed my pain as stemming primarily from my si joint. i have total degeneration at two levels of my lumbar, but i've been told that too many surgeons rely only on what the mri tells them and can miss or disregard the si joint. i don't know your medical situation and i'm not a doctor, but it's possible that like many others, your si joint was the culprit to begin with. i recently had the new ifuse surgery for my si joint and my surgeon was very experienced with the issue. i would highly suggest finding a surgeon who specializes in si dysfunction who can properly screen you for this issue.
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