Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Fusion
What is a Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Fusion?
Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction can cause severe pain and stiffness that limits mobility and lowers quality of life. If conservative therapies have been fully explored without bringing relief, a procedure known as a sacroiliac joint fusion can relieve pain and improve function. Sacroiliac joint fusion is a minimally invasive procedure that stabilizes the SI joint, reducing excessive movement that causes lower back pain, pelvic pain, tingling and numbness associated with SI joint dysfunction.
Sacroiliac joint fusion involves a surgeon making a small incision near the SI joint and using image guidance to access the treatment area. The surgeon will then carefully insert implant instruments and in some cases bone graft material.
By stabilizing the joint, sacroiliac joint fusion reduces inflammation and irritation in the area, reducing pain and other associated symptoms. Minimally invasive techniques reduce the disruption of surrounding tissue and enable an outpatient procedure that typically takes less than an hour.
Compared to traditional open procedures, minimally invasive sacroiliac joint fusions performed by the highly skilled surgeons at Physician Partners of America are associated with shorter recovery times, reduced complications and less postsurgical pain.
What causes SI joint pain?
The SI joint connects the sacrum at the base of the spine to the pelvis and plays a critical role in transferring motion and force between the upper and lower body. Due to the stress it withstands, the SI joint can become painful due to injury and age-related degeneration. SI joint pain can be difficult to diagnose due to its similarity to lower spine conditions.
Telltale signs of SI joint pain include:
- Groin pain
- Pain in a specific part of the lower back
- Pain after sitting for long periods of time
- Radiating pain in the hips, buttocks and legs
- Muscle weakness in the legs
Minimally invasive surgery, including sacroiliac joint fusion, is usually a last resort treatment attempted only after fully exploring nonsurgical therapies. It is important to work closely with your surgeon to undergo a thorough evaluation and determine if you are a good potential candidate for this procedure.