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Do You Have SI Joint Pain?

The SI joint can be a significant cause of lower back pain. Clinical publications have identified the SI joint as a pain generator in 15-30% of chronic lower back pain patients. In addition, the SI joint is a pain generator in up to 43% of patients with continued or new onset lower back pain after a lumbar fusion.

Sacroiliac Joint (SI Joint) Anatomy

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 is an essential component for energy transfer between the legs and the torso.

Like any other joint in the body, the SI joint can be injured and/or undergo degeneration. When this happens, people can feel pain in their buttock and sometimes in the lower back, hips and legs. This is especially true while lifting, running, walking or even lying on the involved side.

It’s common for pain from the SI joint to feel like disc or lower back pain, or sometimes hip or groin pain. For this reason, SI joint disorders should always be considered in lower back, hip, and pelvic pain diagnosis.

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Do you experience one or more of the symptoms listed below?

  • Lower back pain

  • Sensation of low extremity: pain, numbness, tingling, weakness

  • Pelvis/buttock pain

  • Hip/groin pain

  • Feeling of leg instability (buckling, giving way)

  • Disturbed sleep patterns due to pain

  • Disturbed sitting patterns (unable to sit for long periods, sitting on one side)

  • Pain going from sitting to standing

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Pain

Stepping

Up

SI joint pain can mimic pain in the lower back, hip, groin, or pelvis.

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Pain on Transitional Movements

Patients who suffer from Sl joint dysfunction can have severe pain when performing transitional movements like standing from a chair.

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Pain

Sitting

Patients who have SI joint pain usually find it difficult to sit for long periods of time, and usually try to alleviate the discomfort by sitting on the least effected side.

Making a Diagnosis

A variety of tests performed during physical examination may help reveal the SI joint as the cause of your symptoms. Sometimes, X-rays, CT-scan or MRI may be helpful in the diagnosis of SI joint-related problems because they can rule out other common sources of pain—such as your lumbar spine or hip joints. It is also important to remember that other conditions (like a disc problem) can co-exist with SI joint disorders.

 

The most relied upon method to accurately determine whether the SI joint is the cause of your lower back pain symptoms is to inject the SI joint with a local anesthetic. This diagnostic injection will be performed under either X-ray or CT guidance to verify accurate placement of the needle in the SI joint. If your symptoms decrease by at least 75%, it can be concluded that the SI joint is either the source of or a major contributor to your lower back, hip, or pelvic pain. If the level of pain does not change after SI joint injection, it is less likely that the SI joint is the cause of your pain.

Treatment Options

Once the SI joint is confirmed as the cause of your symptoms, treatment can begin. Some patients respond well to physical therapy, use of oral medications, or injection therapy. These treatments are often performed repetitively, and frequently symptom improvement using these therapies is temporary. If non-surgical treatment options have been tried and do not provide long-term relief, your surgeon may consider other options, including the minimally invasive iFuse procedure.

SI Joint Fusion with iFuse TORQ® Implant System

iFuse TORQ® is designed to stabilize and fuse the SI joint. The iFuse procedure involves inserting typically three threaded titanium implants across the SI joint to maximize stability, reduce pain, and improve function. The procedure is done through a small one-inch incision and takes about an hour. The 3D-printed iFuse TORQ implant was designed for osseointegration, which is the structural and functional connection between implant and bone. This allows your painful joint to be stabilized through binding of bone all along the implant.

iFuse Technology®

iFuse TORQ® Implant System is one of the latest innovative solutions from SI-BONE, the creator of the minimally-invasive SI joint fusion device—the triangular titanium iFuse Implant. More than 100, peer-reviewed publications demonstrate the safety, durable effectiveness, and biomechanical and economic benefits of the iFuse implant (www.si-bone.com/results). The iFuse implant is the only SI joint fusion device with multiple prospective clinical studies, including two randomized controlled trials, demonstrating that treatment improved pain, patient function, and quality of life. As with any minimally invasive surgical procedures, there are potential risks associated with the iFuse Implant System. It may not be appropriate for all patients and all patients may not benefit. For information about the risks, visit www.si-bone.com/risks.

Explore if SI Joint Treatment Is Right for You

Your first step is making an appointment with one of our team to discuss your options. For more information and to make an appointment, please call our us at 239-877-4662 or fill out the form below.

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References

1. Bernard TN, et al. Recognizing specific characteristics of nonspecific low back pain. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1987;217:266–80.

2. Schwarzer AC, et al. The Sacroiliac Joint in Chronic Low Back Pain. Spine. 1995;20:31–7.

3. Maigne JY, et al. Results of Sacroiliac Joint Double Block and Value of Sacroiliac Pain Provocation Tests in 54 Patients with Low Back Pain. Spine. 1996;21:1889–92.

4. Sembrano JN, et al. How Often is Low Back Pain Not Coming From The Back? Spine. 2009;34:E27–32.

5. DePalma MJ, et al. Etiology of Chronic Low Back Pain Patients Having Undergone Lumbar Fusion. Pain Med. 2011;12:732-9.

6. SI-BONE 300857-R.

7. Polly DW, et al., and the INSITE Study Group. Two-Year Outcomes from a Randomized Controlled Trial of Minimally Invasive Sacroiliac Joint Fusion vs. Non-Surgical Management for Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction. Int J Spine Surg. 2016;10:Article 28. DOI: 10.14444/3028

8. Dengler J, et al. Randomized Trial of Sacroiliac Joint Fusion vs. Conservative Management for Chronic Low Back Pain Attributed to the Sacroiliac Joint. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2019;101(5):400-11. DOI: 10.2106/JBJS.18.00022.

9. Duhon B, Bitan F, Lockstadt H, Kovalsky D, Cher D, Hillen T, on behalf of the SIFI Study Group. Triangular Titanium Implants for Minimally Invasive Sacroiliac Joint Fusion: 2-Year Follow-Up from a Prospective Multicenter Trial. Int J Spine Surg. 2016;10:Article 13. DOI: 10.14444/3013

10. Dengler J, et al. on behalf of the INSITE, iMIA and SIFI study groups. Predictors of Outcome in Conservative and Minimally Invasive Surgical Management of Pain Originating from the Sacroiliac Joint – a Pooled Analysis. Spine. 2017;42(21):1664-73. [Epub 2017 Mar 27]. DOI: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000002169

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