Sacro-Iliac Joint Fusion

Some researchers estimate that 25 percent of cases of low back pain may be linked to the sacrum and it’s sacro-iliac joints (SI joints). In particular, the SI Joint is believed to be one of the main causes of Axial Low Back Pain, that is, pain that is limited to the low back, and does not usually involve radiating pain or numbness into a leg.

The SI joint is located at the bottom of spine between the sacrum and the ilium of the pelvis, which are connected by ligaments. The sacrum supports the spine and acts as a shock absorber, cushioning the weight of the body onto the legs.

When a person feels a pain in their low back when they stand up from a chair and place weight on a specific leg, it could be caused by the SI Joint. SI joint pain can be caused by falling down, or from repetitive movement, such as with long distance runners. Arthritis can also be a cause problems with an SI joint.

If spine surgery is needed for sacroiliac joint pain, the surgeon use the Medtronic Rialto SI Joint instrumentation to create a SI Joint Fusion to stabilize the SI joint and relieve the symptoms of SI joint pain and low back pain.

An SI joint fusion is performed through a small incision about an inch long by the side of patient’s buttock. During the procedure, fluoroscopy provides the surgeon with live imaging. Typically two cylindrical threaded implants are inserted, depending on the patients body size.

The key benefits of the Rialto system is that it is less invasive than traditional SI joint surgery. The system uses a much small incision size and no bone grafting is needed as in traditional SI fusion.

Do you have SI Joint pain?

Symptoms of SI Joint pain include:

  • Low back pain that is triggered when you stand up from a chair
  • Uncomfortable sitting, unable to sit for long periods
  • Interrupted sleep due to low back pain
  • Hip or groin pain.
  • Feeling of leg instability

You may be a candidate for surgery if you have exhausted other non-surgical treatment options for axial low back pain, including options like physical therapy, chiropractic, medications, or spinal injections for at least 6 months.

Spine Physicians Institute treats back pain, neck pain, herniated discs, stenosis and other spine problems. Patients come to the spine center from across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Dr. Sethuraman is one of few Mayo Clinic fellowship-trained spine surgeons in the North Texas area. A fellowship is the highest level of medical education in the U.S.

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