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SI JOINT problems

Schlegs14SSchlegs14 Posts: 10
edited 01/18/2015 - 7:42 PM in Lower Back Pain
I'm 37years old and was injured at work on November 2013. Originally I just thought it was a pulled muscle, but within a few days, I could hardly stand, walk, or even drive my car. I had an MRI done and was told there was a slight bulge at the L3-4 area and a minimal bulge at the L5-S1 area. My primary Dr.referred me to a spine clinic, were they did a cortisone injection before I left. After 12 days, I went back as scheduled, with absolutely no relief. During the examination, I felt as if I was being called a liar and literally was screaming at the PA to stop touching me as I was crying hysterically. I ended up at the nearest ER for IV medication, a repeat MRI, and a referral to an ortho/neuro surgeon. I seen the surgeon on December 12, 2013 and surgery was scheduled 12-17-13. With the hope and expectations of feeling better afterward, something still didn't seem right, but my surgeon assured me everything went well and I would be going home the next day. Yes things were better, but not relieved, if that makes sense? As the next few months passed, the pain, burning, needle pricking, and weakness to my left leg got worse than before and now even down my right inner thigh, in my vaginal area, and across my back. I was admitted into the hospital on April 2, 2014 and had a second surgery, a FUSION done at the L3-4 level. Discharged home on 4-10-14 wearing a core line support brace, home therapy, walker, shower chair, and a bed rail. Needless to say, I ended up trying aquatic (pool-water) therapy with no success, no relief, and no answers!! I was referred to pain mgmt. and his solution was to implant a nerve cord stimulator, something I would have the REST of my life. I refused and said I didn't want a band aid, I wanted answers, I want to fix the problem!! Well, here I am 13 months into this, 2 surgeries, 3 injections, emotionally worn out from the pain itself, I found out it's my SI joint. NOT S1...... but SI joint. A very commonly overlooked area. The symptoms are very similar and common to those of an L5-S1 injury. The SI joint basically joins the hip bone to the spine supporting the upper body.


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I do need the surgery......CT Scan shows bone on bone in every image. Is there such a thing as emergency SI surgery? I mean I can't even move my leg without the pain putting me in tears! I tried taking 3 vicodine's and a valium and that barely took the edge off!!!!
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  • Hi
    You have been going through so much sorry to hear that and then
    to find out all along it was due to the SI joint. That must
    be extremely difficult for you to handle and now to have to have
    another surgery. In reading your symptoms it fits mine almost exactly.
    I cannot bath, so painful to sit on the toilet, put on my compression socks,
    coughing or sneezing, cannot straighten out my leg the pain shoots up into
    my butt. I cannot sleep in a flat position from before this development so I
    sleep in a recliner and trying not to lay on my left side makes things extremely
    bad. When you describe how painful it was to have someone touch you, that is exactly how I am.
    My waist, hip, buttock, lower back, back of leg to knee is so sensitive I want
    to scream at times. Driving is out and sitting in a car, standing, walking. The doctor
    wants me to go to swimming I am dreading that. I have to roll my underwear down
    so it does not put pressure on my skin. Yesterday I had to lay on my back for an MRI and it
    took everything I had to not yell "no more" then getting off that table was
    beyond words. I have had pain for several years but this is a pain that
    jumps to a new level and I am so sorry you have dealt with it for that long.
    My GP puts it at a 7 or 8 level and I take strong meds that only take the edge
    off for awhile which upsets me I don't want that to be the solution like
    you I want it fixed. He suggested a pain pump, as you said you don't want a
    band aid.
    In researching I do know that there are tests that can confirm it is the SI
    joint and then the injection to test that it is in fact that problem. But then
    too it is always hard to pinpoint and a lot of Doctors don't even want to go there.
    Did the Doctor's ever talk about it being an issue with the SI joint?
    Was the injection you got
    in that area to see if it brought you relief or not?
    I have had lower and upper back issues for years but this is a really like you
    said terrible pain to deal with. For me it is like that too cannot stand anything
    to touch my waist, hip, buttocks and it radiates into my groin and back of my
    leg. It is also on the left side and it really got worse after my gallbladder surgery.
    Anyway I did not want to make this about me, just wanted some in-put on the
    symptoms. Also to tell you I wish the very best to you and hope it works out
    that this time you get relief, no one deserves to suffer like you have and go
    through all that without some relief.
    Do you have family or someone that is helping you and there for you? I hope
    so that is so much to go through on your own.
    There are a lot of great people here that can give you help and just listen when
    you need it.
    I will pray for you and please keep posting how you are and how the surgery goes
    alright, if you ever need someone to talk to you can PM me.
    Best wishes
  • Schlegs14SSchlegs14 Posts: 10
    edited 03/23/2015 - 9:23 PM
    After my second surgery, I had home therapy and then was referred to aquatic (pool) therapy. I went two/three times a week for 12 weeks and afterward, I just new it was going to be a BAD day. The pain has totally taken over my life and it's been very difficult for my husband, we had just gotten married two weeks prior to my injury. I'm only 37 years old and refused to except this was going to be my life. When I started seeing a Doctor for the acupuncture, he's the one who informed me about the SI Joint. From there, he referred me to another Doctor who did SI injections. After the first one, which hurt like an SOB, I did have relief for about a week and I was told they should or could last 3-12 months. So I ended up having a second one, not so bad, but this time I had very little relief. Several months had past, and then I was referred to this new surgeon. He specializes in SI Joints and just based on the examination, he was confident it was the SI Joint. So I went for a third injection and he wanted a CT Scan, which he clearly said does not always show clearity, but he wanted more than the MRI's. During my follow up with the surgeon, I did have some relief from the injection, but the CT Scan clearly showed bone on bone. The surgeon also informed me, this isn't the first time he's seen patients undergo back surgery and get fusions before looking at the alternatives. Had i agreed, I would have this pain stimulator implant in my back and still no relief. I'm sick of hearing how it's Psychological and I'm seeking attention.
    So for the first time, here's a surgeon who believes me and it angers him to see situations like mine. He invented the implant he'll be using during my surgery, because many surgeons who do SI surgeries make it a permanent bond and his way allows some movement like it's supposed to.
  • Oh you are so young and only married that long, that is hard to deal with for sure
    and it is great that you decided to fight for solutions.
    I know what you mean about a pulled muscle, I was walking trying to get some strength
    back after a bad injection and stomach issues got pretty weak.
    All the sudden I got this pain in my hip and it just went from there. It is a pain that
    is so different and I think I am a tough lady but this has just kicked my butt.
    You too I have got that from some Doctor's too, it is just cause you are stressed,
    it is Fibro. (sick of that one) just because it seems they want to put all of it there.
    I am hoping this Doctor will try the injections but afraid I am putting too much hope
    into that. Surgery that is a scary thing and what you have been through I cannot
    even go there. But the truth is I would do anything almost to get this pain at a lower
    Sorry but I would be more angry that is me and you are a great example of not
    being bitter but fighting to improve your health.
    Hopefully this time it will improve your life and you can go on and enjoy being
    out of this pain. So when is the surgery? Did they tell you how long you will be
    in the hospital and the time to recover after?
    I will look into that procedure and the Doctor for sure.
    Thanks again for getting back to me and keep me posted alright.
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  • I had a follow up appointment with the surgeon today and he would do the surgery yesterday if possible, but because it's a worker's comp case, it makes things more difficult. I had to retain an attorney a several months ago, so it's even more complicated. My surgeon said he's done well over 3,000 of these types of surgeries and I'm the worse case he's seen, so he switched and put me on some pretty heavy pain meds, which as of now still are not helping. We scheduled the surgery for
    April 13, giving him time to submit a report to my work comp company and if they deny it, then I can use my personal health insurance.
    The healing process varies per patient, but the first 6 weeks I'll be on crutches and non weight bearing on the left side. The surgery takes about an hour and a half and I forgot to ask about hospital stay, but I'm guessing a day or two, based on the previous surgeries and length of stay. He also said the fusion I had done last April 2013, still is not completely healed, so overall, he can't give me an answer.
    I told his nurse today, I've given birth twice, natural with NO meds, and I would much rather do that 10 more times than deal with this kind of pain. Being bed ridden certainly isn't a choice I've chosen and being sooo dependent on others just plain out sucks!!!
    I will certainly keep you posted and let me know if you seen the you tube video.
    God bless and many prayers,
  • Hope3HHope3 Posts: 1,337
    edited 03/24/2015 - 4:20 AM
    So glad to hear from you, I have been checking to see if you had posted,
    how you are feeling and if your surgery had been scheduled.
    My problems are not due to work but I have read how complicating and
    frustrating that can be, sorry you have to have that stuff on top of it all.
    It is good that your insurance will kick in absolutely.
    Your Surgeon sounds experienced which is so important and sorry that the
    increase in meds is not helping. I can relate at this time my meds just take
    the edge off but still go between 8 and or worse. Did I ever dream like so
    many on here that there is that kind of pain where it feels like your skin
    has been peeled and to touch the areas is enough to scream. My biggest
    thing is sleep I dread that time of night.
    But how can I complain look at what you have been through already and what
    you are facing, plus you still work. You are a strong person to handle it all.
    Just be sure to take it easy after your surgery and follow all the directions.
    I have brought these symtoms up to several Doctor's too and finally after
    watching a excellent video on this web-site it fit it perfect plus your description too.
    It upsets me that none of them would listen to me, but finally last week my
    one Doctor does the simple tests and sure enough he agrees. I was glad but
    upset at the same time. I have had TP that I should not have had and only aggravated
    it like you say, plus trigger shots that sent me through the roof. Plus the therapist
    had not even talked to my Doctor and when she put me on that table that stretches you
    I went off the roof with pain, so she stops immediately and says "that has to be a
    disc issue no more TP for now". It has been a nightmare I am desperate right to
    get relief and even though I have had horrible side effects with these injections I am
    going ahead and tomorrow keep your fingers crossed for me.
    I will check that Video out for sure. My goals are to if this helps I am going to go to
    TP with a guy I found who is trained and certified in it. Then swimming I am going
    to do everything I can to avoid surgery.
    Oh for sure I hate asking others and my Husband is not the best caregiver that is
    a long story. I just want to be a Grandma, Mom etc. again and go back to the pain
    I was in before. But I really need to get in better shape.
    Let me know what is going on I care and want to hear it fixed it and you are
    out there having a great time or at least have that pain where it is tolerable.
    I will say prayers for you and if you need to talk I am a good listener.
    Just a little spacy with this pain and meds. Ha Ha
    Take care
  • Schlegs14SSchlegs14 Posts: 10
    edited 03/24/2015 - 6:45 PM
    I also did the traction (pulls you apart), manual decompression by the Dr, DTS (electro shock therapy), acupuncture, pool pt, and then just regular pt. with ultra sound heating. None of which worked and like I said, it just aggravated it more. I absolutely have that feeling of my skin peeling off.....mostly on my thigh and sometimes it seems like there's a rubber band behind my knee cap pulling as tight as it can get. That's when I was referred for the SI Injection. It's a diagnostic tool to confirm if it's the SI joint, and it has cortisone in it to help relief the pain for up to 3-6 months. Sadly for me though, they only lasted a week ( I've had three now), but I did notice a difference right away and that's what the Dr. is looking for......any kind of relief within the first half hour. They'll keep you there in the office afterwards and check on you 15 min/30 min before releasing you. You will need a driver, or I had to.
    Yes, anytime you wanna chat or have any questions, please feel free to ask. I'm pretty much bed bound and can't do much, except play on this dang computer, lol, when I'm not feeling loopy!!
  • Sounds like we both have had some of the same body pains going on.
    But you have dealt with so much more, sorry for that.
    I can't believe it takes so long for them to figure it out, they put you through
    all this hell that only flares it up. If I had not found a video on here and met
    read you and some others posts, I would not have had the information for
    this last Doctor visit. So grateful for that wow so selfish of me but I hope this .
    injections today improves things. Wish for you too that you get some asap.
    I was thinking last night I sleep in a recliner due to the problems with my upper
    back and I think that sitting all that time may have brought this on over time and
    aggravated this too. So despite the fact I bought two beds I am going to get that
    one (not sure if I can say the name) but it is the one that reclines plus you can
    adjust the hardness. Heck did I already mention that, forgive me if I did this brain.
    I don't normal sit ever if I can avoid it but with bladder surgery last Nov. I really felt
    a change for the worse. Do you about die from the pain getting an MRI? Wow getting
    that and trying to get up off that bed is just too much.The Doctor's don't believe it but
    I know it is true.
    Isn't it a drag to be in the house not able to do anything, my house is a mess but I have
    to ignore it and I until the last two years did flowers and a garden. I also used to watch
    my Grandson that is the hardest part of this. He is not handling it well at all.
    I get the injection today at 3pm I am so nervous don't want the lasting side effects I had with
    two before, but I see no other way and it could be worse
    for sure. I feel like one of the lucky ones on here.
    What are the things you like to do? I hope you have people who come and support you
    when it is bad like this. I don't much a lot my own fault but it does get lonely.
    Well better try to find some ice so I can remain sane.
    Take care of yourself and PM me if you want. I sure appreciate all your support and just chatting with
    you it helps.
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