The sacroiliac joint (SI joint) is located in the pelvis; it links the iliac bones (pelvis) to the sacrum (lowest part of the spine above the tailbone). It SI joint is essential for energy transfer between the legs and the torso. Unfortunately, the SI joint can also be a significant contributor to lower back pain. Clinical studies have identified the SI joint as a pain generator in 15-30% of chronic lower back pain patients.
Dr. T is trained in the latest minimally invasive surgical (MIS) technique using varieties of minimally invasive implants.
Like any other joint in the body, the SI joint can degenerate or suffer injury. When the SI joint is damaged, it can cause pain in the pelvis, buttocks, hips, groin, lower back, and legs. This is especially true while lifting, running, walking, going from sitting to standing, or lying on the affected side.
You may have an SI joint disorder if you experience one or more of the following symptoms:
A variety of tests performed during a physical examination − most of which involve using X-rays, CT-scans, or MRIs − may help determine if the SI joint is the cause of your symptoms. The most relied-upon test is to inject the SI joint with a local anesthetic under the guidance of either X-ray or CT scan. If your symptoms are decreased by at least 50%, the SI joint is either the source of or a major contributor to your lower back pain, but if the level of pain does not change after the injection, it is less likely that the SI joint is the cause.
Once the SI joint is confirmed to be the cause of your symptoms, treatment can begin. Some patients respond well to physical therapy, oral medications, or injection therapy, but for others, these treatments offer temporary symptom improvement and often need to be performed repetitively.
If your condition is not improving, you and your surgeon may want to consider minimally invasive surgery like sacroiliac joint fixation.
Sacroiliac joint fixation is a surgical procedure in which the joint is permanently returned to its intended position and weight-bearing function. Three to four small titanium implants inserted across the sacroiliac joint to fix and stabilize it. The procedure is done through a small incision, and takes about an hour.
Watch this video to see how the titanium implants support your SI joint:
There were more than 30 published, peer-reviewed articles demonstrating its safety and effectiveness. Benefits of the biomechanically rigorous implant used in this straightforward, minimally-invasive sacroiliac joint surgery may include:
While this is an outpatient surgery, we do recommend resting for a prescribed period post-operative and then gradually increasing activity levels with instruction and supervision by your providers. You will also be advised to wear a back brace for added support during the healing process.