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neliah2507
Has anyone ever had SI-Joint Fusion??? Pros & Cons, please! 1/7/2012 5:03PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I have a million questions regarding this type of joint repair but here are my major ones for anyone willing to share their experience:

1. How did you get your SI-joint pain diagnosed without feeling unsure it was the problem?

2. How long did you attempt to fix this issue with PT before you decided surgery was what you needed?

3. How long did you have pain prior to your surgery?

4. Did the surgery take away all of your pain/discomfort?

5. How long did it take to heal?

6. Are you back to normal activities or do you have specific limitations?

Thank you in advance and I truly appreciate any responses!
Not that complicated
RE: Has anyone ever had SI-Joint Fusion??? Pros & Cons, please! 1/7/2012 5:08PM - in reply to neliah2507 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
useless operation.
neliah2507
RE: Has anyone ever had SI-Joint Fusion??? Pros & Cons, please! 1/7/2012 9:14PM - in reply to Not that complicated Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Unless you have personally had one or perform them please don't be d*ck. I am asking because I am in chronic pain and have been for about 12 months now. Useful responses are welcome...
If you can explain why they are useless and how you have come to know this for a fact then I would be very appreciative.
Hahjauahaj
RE: Has anyone ever had SI-Joint Fusion??? Pros & Cons, please! 1/7/2012 10:08PM - in reply to neliah2507 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I've talked to some intelligent MD physiatrists who say that SI joint dysfunction doesn't exist. By that I think they mean it is not one entity but rather a secondary thing to the root cause of the problem, which may be poor stability of muscles and ligaments in that area.

I believe Vicky sims PT in georgia is supposed to be an expert on SI joint issues
Hahjauahaj
RE: Has anyone ever had SI-Joint Fusion??? Pros & Cons, please! 1/7/2012 10:10PM - in reply to Hahjauahaj Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
If you're an athlete I would think very carefully about any kind of fusion. There are people who've had an si joint fusion who say it was successful in relieving their pain, but I don't think these folks were athletes
SMJO
RE: Has anyone ever had SI-Joint Fusion??? Pros & Cons, please! 1/7/2012 11:04PM - in reply to Hahjauahaj Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Patience helps. When I was 38 I had SI joint pain that came on pretty abruptly and really made running miserable for a couple of years.
It has been gradually fading over the last three years and now at 42 I feel ready for another seriuos go at running.
Tincture of time goes a long way.
neliah2507
RE: Has anyone ever had SI-Joint Fusion??? Pros & Cons, please! 1/8/2012 12:02AM - in reply to SMJO Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

SMJO wrote:

Patience helps. When I was 38 I had SI joint pain that came on pretty abruptly and really made running miserable for a couple of years.
It has been gradually fading over the last three years and now at 42 I feel ready for another seriuos go at running.
Tincture of time goes a long way.


I can appreciate that advice...
I am trying to be patient. It's honestly not about running for me at this point, but more about my quality of daily functioning. I can't run, period. I also cannot swim, ride a bike, or elliptical. But I also can't sit for more than 5-10 minutes without pain, I can't sleep more than 3-4 hours a night and that's not at a time, it's between being wide awake. Going up/down stairs hurts. It hurts to get something out of my dresser drawers, to put on pants, to stand for more than 10 minutes at a time...I could go on and on. My parents wanted me to go to a movie with them tonight which I was dreading because I knew I wouldn't last. I left the theater after 90 minutes literally in tears. I don't want to jump the gun at the fusion procedure. But I am curious about it at this point...I am glad to hear you are doing better. Hopefully I will see some sort of change like you did. Are you doing anything specific you think has helped you???
Lopez Friedman
RE: Has anyone ever had SI-Joint Fusion??? Pros & Cons, please! 1/8/2012 12:12AM - in reply to neliah2507 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Did you see Vicki sims pt in georgia?
asdgfasdf
RE: Has anyone ever had SI-Joint Fusion??? Pros & Cons, please! 1/8/2012 12:14AM - in reply to neliah2507 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I went through similar issues and had success with extensive core strengthening. By this, I'm talking about 30+ minutes daily of a wide variety of continuous work targeting lower abs and back (mostly on the bouncy ball), non-stop. It was a long long haul - probably 7 months before things felt mostly ok, 3 years before I say all after-effects were gone, and I did the core work every single day that whole time. But it worked, was free, had no complications or side effects, and left me with some killer abs. Oh and ps, for sleeping, flat on your back, and some benadryl or other sleep aid for a few nights to get you back in the habit of sleeping. Just be careful about dependency...that's not cool.
2:25
RE: Has anyone ever had SI-Joint Fusion??? Pros & Cons, please! 1/8/2012 12:39AM - in reply to neliah2507 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

neliah2507 wrote:
I can appreciate that advice...
I am trying to be patient. It's honestly not about running for me at this point, but more about my quality of daily functioning. I can't run, period. I also cannot swim, ride a bike, or elliptical. But I also can't sit for more than 5-10 minutes without pain, I can't sleep more than 3-4 hours a night and that's not at a time, it's between being wide awake. Going up/down stairs hurts. It hurts to get something out of my dresser drawers, to put on pants, to stand for more than 10 minutes at a time...I could go on and on. My parents wanted me to go to a movie with them tonight which I was dreading because I knew I wouldn't last. I left the theater after 90 minutes literally in tears. I don't want to jump the gun at the fusion procedure. But I am curious about it at this point...I am glad to hear you are doing better. Hopefully I will see some sort of change like you did. Are you doing anything specific you think has helped you???


Fusion eliminates a joint completely, eliminating joint pain, but at the expense of eliminating all movement. With pain as bad as yours, I would strongly consider it.
physical therapist
RE: Has anyone ever had SI-Joint Fusion??? Pros & Cons, please! 1/8/2012 7:27AM - in reply to 2:25 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
You have to know 100% that the pain in coming from the SI joint.

I have also spoken with many PTs and MDs about this, and most think that SI joint pain is really referred pain from the lumbar spine.

The problem with any fusion is that you are making a joint hypomobile. The body wasn't designed that way, so it will make up for that hypomobility with hypermobility elsewhere.

Be very very careful with a fusion.

Do you get any pain down the back of your leg? Any knee or foot pain? Or is it specific to the SI region? One side or both?
physiatrist
RE: Has anyone ever had SI-Joint Fusion??? Pros & Cons, please! 1/8/2012 8:59AM - in reply to neliah2507 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Have you had a steroid injection? Any reasonable surgeon would require this prior to performing the fusion. It is both diagnostic and therapeutic. If the steriod injection and/or a series of injections give you temporary relief when combined with continued PT then sacroiliac joint denervation would be a reasonable alternative to surgery.
neliah2507
RE: Has anyone ever had SI-Joint Fusion??? Pros & Cons, please! 1/8/2012 9:58AM - in reply to 2:25 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
2:25,
I am worried about causing a hypomobility as you mention. I know that a lot of MDs are under the assumption the SI-joint is a naturally a completely fused joint within the body (which its not, there is slight movement). In my mind, having it fused or using screws would still leave me with asymmetry from side-to-side. You bring up a good point.

Lopez,
I have not seen Vicki (PT) in GA. I live in NY and am unable to afford a trip like that. I may still research if she can do a phone consult of some sort and give advice on exercises although most PTs do not do that.

asdgfasdf,
What exercises were you doing on the yoga ball? I have read that anything involving spinal flexion will most likely make the issue worse so I have avoided that. I am still interested to hear what worked for you (or made it worse) to try and tailor the core work I am doing now. I've definitely had relief from it but the joint is very hypermobile from chiros torquing it all over the place. Even if I get some cracks and pops out of it at home with easy stretching and core work it will shift again within a few hours or by the next day.

PT & Physiatrist,
I have not had an injection in the SIJ yet. That is what I am hoping to have eventually, but I want to find the right physiatrist or MD to do the injection. I don't want it to leave them with doubts about where the pain is coming from. I do agree it's extremely hard to diagnose. I've put a lot of thought into where else it could be coming from. I can say I have the following:
1. pain directly over the SIJ and medial to the PSIS
2. sit with that hip hiked up higher
3. slight leg-length discrepancy (more functional than actual)
4. groin pain
5. + FABER test
6. + Gaenslen's Test
7. radicular pain into the glutes and down part of thigh
8. hypertonicity of muscles and tendons in the area (specifically adductor and psoas)

I have other symptoms none of them travel above the sacral region and into the lumbar region. I have no lower back pain that I can elicit with any movement or palpation (except my psoas feels jacked up on the affected side even above my waistline). I've actually met an MD who had SIJ for about 17 years, wasn't able to do many activities, had the surgery, and just ran a 17 mile race not that long ago (pain free with no problems). I don't think all cases turn out like that but I am trying to find who has had good and bad experiences so I can get a better idea of options down the road. Thank you for the ideas and tips, I appreciate them!
Rob Love
RE: Has anyone ever had SI-Joint Fusion??? Pros & Cons, please! 12/6/2012 5:46PM - in reply to neliah2507 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
neliah2507,
Since your posts, have you had the SI joint fused?

I'm in the same boat as you. Back in 2007 I was in Iraq and we came under another rocket attack. At that time, I was wearing my full body armor gear, helmet, ruck, etc. When I jumped into a ditch for cover, I was greeted with this IMMENSE shooting pain directly in my SI joint area. It was debilitated for two weeks, and ever since then I have had constant level 8 pain 24/7 with occasional level 10 pain every day.

After returning to the States I've had multiple CT scans and MRIs to which I have been diagnosed with three bulging discs, one herniated disc and one of the disc has an annular tear. From that, I have gone under a plethora of nerve ablations, PT, steroid injections, etc.

Now that I'm retired, I went and saw a civilian neurosurgeon. He referred me to have a CT scan with steroid injection for my SI joint. It has really helped and the only pain I'm feeling today is just from the needle injection. Ergo, I'm leaning towards having my SI joint fused. However, before this injury I used to be a marathon runner. I would LOVE to take up running again, but I'm not sure if the fusion will allow that.

Any information you, or anyone else, can provide will be immensely appreciated!!!

Thank-you,
Robert Love
Tents
RE: Has anyone ever had SI-Joint Fusion??? Pros & Cons, please! 12/6/2012 9:59PM - in reply to neliah2507 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
no me
not so Joe
RE: Has anyone ever had SI-Joint Fusion??? Pros & Cons, please! 12/6/2012 10:27PM - in reply to 2:25 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Have you had a SI joint block yet? Did this offer any relief? Under no circumstances should you get an :SI joint fusion if anaesthesia in the joint doesn't't take the pain away.
Marlena shepherd
RE: Has anyone ever had SI-Joint Fusion??? Pros & Cons, please! 12/14/2012 2:31AM - in reply to neliah2507 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Hi, I have recently had the si joint fusion. I've been having lower back pain for 2 years and I've seen 3 or 4 doctors and they couldn't figure out what was wrong so I went to see Dr. John Cummings Jr in Indianapolis Indians at Community Hospital East. And he did everything to see if it was the si joint. Did the pressure points moved my leg around and everything. Then he sent me to his anesthesiologist to get an SI joint fusion and he said if that was what was wrong 75-80% of the pain would go away almost instantly, and it did. So a few weeks later I had the surgery. It's been only 2weeks and 2 days since my surgery but the pain I've been having for 2 years was gone. During the surgery he uses the smallest incision and used 3 ifusion rods and the surgery takes 1/12 hrs. And recovery is from 3-6 months. After the surgery and recovery you stay one night in the hospital and during then the nurses work with you to walk some have to use a walker for a few days but after your done and home from surgery the only pain u rly have is the incision and ur leg and butt hurts. Your hip only hurts when u walk. Having this surgery was the best choice I've done of my life. Dr. Cummings is a world renown neurosurgeon and is the best in the country. If u have this done I recommend calling his office and making an apt to see him and send in an MRI and X-rays. I still hurt a little now just from surgery. But it's the best choice I've ever made and dr Cummings is a great dr. He will explain a lot of other things to you but I think i covered about all of them. I hope this helps and good luck with everything. I know how chronic back pain is and it's not fun. But I haven't had it since my surgery. Please take what I said into consideration if u have this done. It's not an easy surgery from what dr.cummings said and he's the person who helped founded it. Hope I help you. Have a nice day! -Marlena
Marlena shepherd
RE: Has anyone ever had SI-Joint Fusion??? Pros & Cons, please! 12/14/2012 2:32AM - in reply to neliah2507 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Hi, I have recently had the si joint fusion. I've been having lower back pain for 2 years and I've seen 3 or 4 doctors and they couldn't figure out what was wrong so I went to see Dr. John Cummings Jr in Indianapolis Indians at Community Hospital East. And he did everything to see if it was the si joint. Did the pressure points moved my leg around and everything. Then he sent me to his anesthesiologist to get an SI joint fusion and he said if that was what was wrong 75-80% of the pain would go away almost instantly, and it did. So a few weeks later I had the surgery. It's been only 2weeks and 2 days since my surgery but the pain I've been having for 2 years was gone. During the surgery he uses the smallest incision and used 3 ifusion rods and the surgery takes 1/12 hrs. And recovery is from 3-6 months. After the surgery and recovery you stay one night in the hospital and during then the nurses work with you to walk some have to use a walker for a few days but after your done and home from surgery the only pain u rly have is the incision and ur leg and butt hurts. Your hip only hurts when u walk. Having this surgery was the best choice I've done of my life. Dr. Cummings is a world renown neurosurgeon and is the best in the country. If u have this done I recommend calling his office and making an apt to see him and send in an MRI and X-rays. I still hurt a little now just from surgery. But it's the best choice I've ever made and dr Cummings is a great dr. He will explain a lot of other things to you but I think i covered about all of them. I hope this helps and good luck with everything. I know how chronic back pain is and it's not fun. But I haven't had it since my surgery. Please take what I said into consideration if u have this done. It's not an easy surgery from what dr.cummings said and he's the person who helped founded it. Hope I help you. Have a nice day! -Marlena
Marlena shepherd
RE: Has anyone ever had SI-Joint Fusion??? Pros & Cons, please! 12/14/2012 2:32AM - in reply to neliah2507 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Hi, I have recently had the si joint fusion. I've been having lower back pain for 2 years and I've seen 3 or 4 doctors and they couldn't figure out what was wrong so I went to see Dr. John Cummings Jr in Indianapolis Indians at Community Hospital East. And he did everything to see if it was the si joint. Did the pressure points moved my leg around and everything. Then he sent me to his anesthesiologist to get an SI joint fusion and he said if that was what was wrong 75-80% of the pain would go away almost instantly, and it did. So a few weeks later I had the surgery. It's been only 2weeks and 2 days since my surgery but the pain I've been having for 2 years was gone. During the surgery he uses the smallest incision and used 3 ifusion rods and the surgery takes 1/12 hrs. And recovery is from 3-6 months. After the surgery and recovery you stay one night in the hospital and during then the nurses work with you to walk some have to use a walker for a few days but after your done and home from surgery the only pain u rly have is the incision and ur leg and butt hurts. Your hip only hurts when u walk. Having this surgery was the best choice I've done of my life. Dr. Cummings is a world renown neurosurgeon and is the best in the country. If u have this done I recommend calling his office and making an apt to see him and send in an MRI and X-rays. I still hurt a little now just from surgery. But it's the best choice I've ever made and dr Cummings is a great dr. He will explain a lot of other things to you but I think i covered about all of them. I hope this helps and good luck with everything. I know how chronic back pain is and it's not fun. But I haven't had it since my surgery. Please take what I said into consideration if u have this done. It's not an easy surgery from what dr.cummings said and he's the person who helped founded it. Hope I help you. Have a nice day! -Marlena
samlu
RE: Has anyone ever had SI-Joint Fusion??? Pros & Cons, please! 1/12/2013 4:29AM - in reply to neliah2507 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Yes, I had SI fusion in September 12, using the diana method. It was diagnosed following manipulation; physio; anti inflamm's; mri/ct/spect scan; si joint steroid injection etc. Must say I have 100% faith in my consultant as have previously had spinal fusion surgery which worked well until an rta provoked this problem. It is definitely a last resort if other options don't work, but I was at the point where sitting/lying/standing/walking was extremely painful and was severely impacting quality of life. I would have done anything to reduce the pain and was taking more and more pain meds. I was in hospital 5 days; was partial weight bearing on crutches for 6 weeks, but needed to continue using crutches for a further 5 weeks out and about. Was back at full time work at 12 weeks and would recommend the surgery if all else has failed. I can now walk without hobbling, can sit for longer periods of time. I'm not 100% pain free but definitely have significantly reduced pain and much improved mobility. If you are at this point I would go ahead with this minimally invasive method, but do research your consultant well.
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