Correcting Sacroiliac Pain with an SI Joint Fusion

Correcting Sacroiliac Pain with an SI Joint Fusion

The sacroiliac (SI) joint is one of the most essential parts of the pelvis. These small joints connect the sacrum at the base of the spine with the ilium bones of the hip. They’re involved in standing, sitting, walking, and even laying down, so if anything goes wrong, it can be quite inconvenient.


People who experience sacroiliac joint dysfunction often find it hard to move around, and even trying to relax and sleep can be difficult. Fortunately, there is hope for those suffering from SI joint pain. If you’re ready to say goodbye to joint pain, you need to know where sacroiliac pain comes from and how to treat it.


What Is Sacroiliac Pain?


The SI joint is supposed to be filled with fluid to cushion the connection between bones. However, if something goes wrong within the sacroiliac joint, the bones can bump into each other and pinch nerves. Most people find sacroiliac dysfunction to be extremely painful. This joint is a weight-bearing joint that is supposed to help spread your weight across the back, hips, and legs. Therefore, any inflammation or other problem can cause widespread discomfort.


Not everyone experiences the same type of pain. Depending on your personal health and what is causing your pain, you might experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Pain that begins in the buttock or lower back
  • Pain on one side of the body
  • Pain that radiates through the hip, groin, and thigh
  • Worsened pain when climbing stairs, transitioning between positions, or moving
  • Constant aches even when sitting or lying still
  • Pain that is worse when putting pressure on the affected side

What Causes Sacroiliac Pain?


There are a variety of reasons that you can experience pain in the sacroiliac region. Pregnancy, car accidents, and falls can all loosen the joints and keep the section from moving smoothly. You can also end up with sacroiliac pain due to inflammation. If the bones, cartilage, or small fluid-filled sacs between the bones are inflamed, SI pain can develop. In many cases, this is due to aging, repetitive motions, or general wear and tear.


Since sacroiliac pain can be so widespread, it can take a little time to diagnose the issue. The diagnosis process usually involves ruling out other causes of pain and pinpointing where your pain is coming from. Your doctor will generally recommend a variety of imaging tests, such as X-rays and MRIs, to get a detailed look at the bones and soft tissue in the area. They can also test with targeted anesthetic injections to the sacroiliac joint. If your pain stops after this injection, then your doctor can confirm it is caused by the sacroiliac joint.


Treating Sacroiliac Pain With SI Fusion


There are short-term treatments, like pain relievers and stretching exercises, but these do not address the root cause of the issue. If your sacroiliac pain continues to happen and the Sacroiliac Joint injections provide only temporary relief, your doctor may recommend SI fusion. This minimally-invasive surgery involves using bone grafts and/or titanium rods material to connect the sacrum and ilium bones. This stabilizes the area, so the bones can’t grind against each other or pinch nerves.


The whole procedure is fairly straightforward. Everything is done through a small incision, and the procedure only takes about an hour. If you choose this treatment, you can usually go home the same day or the next day after the surgery. In the weeks after the SI fusion, you may need to keep weight off the affected joint and walk with a cane or crutches. Generally, you can walk without devices and start exercising after four weeks, but you will need 12 weeks to fully recover.


What Is the SiLO Procedure?


There are quite a few different ways to perform SI fusion. At Advanced Pain & Spine Management, our team prefers to use the SiLO procedure. This revolutionary treatment is one of the most effective ways of addressing SI pain. SiLO is a special fusion material made from human cortical bone. This allograft is a bone graft specifically created for SI fusions. It has three ridges and dual vertical side channels that help maximize stability and fusion.


There are several benefits to working with the SiLO procedure. It is less invasive because the special design can be inserted with ease. The surgeon inserts a small, hollow tube, called a Ghost Tube, into a narrow incision. The use of radiolucent material allows them to see the site on X-rays, so they can carefully guide the bone graft material through the Ghost Tube. If necessary, the doctor can even place additional biologics in the joint during the initial surgery.


The SiLO procedure’s speed and accuracy mean quicker healing time for patients. You can go home on the same day and recover with ease. Thanks to the highly effective bone grafting material, the joint fuses into a very stable joint that reduces pain and discomfort.


The Bottom Line


The sacroiliac joint connects some of the major bones of the body, so any inflammation or damage can cause a lot of problems. If you are experiencing radiating pain in the hips, back, or thigh, it’s a good idea to seek treatment. Depending on the cause, your doctor may recommend an SI fusion procedure. This can help stabilize the area and cut back on SI joint pain.


Are you ready to say goodbye to pain and get your life back? Dr. Macrinici provides compassionate, effective care for patients with sacroiliac joint pain. Through the use of revolutionary procedures like SiLO, our surgical team provides a lasting cure for pain. Schedule an appointment with Advanced Pain & Spine Management to get started on the path to a pain-free life.

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If you’re struggling with neck, back, or hip pain or any other spine related issues, schedule an appointment with us today to get back to living your life the way you’d like to.