Sacroiliac dysfunction is a very common problem that is frequently misdiagnosed and doesn’t go away on its own. Patients who have symptoms are frequently treated with SI joint injections, but the effects of the injections only last a few days to a few weeks, at best. Simply put, the injections don’t provide long lasting relief, nor do they treat the underlying problem of sacroiliac joint degeneration as a source of the pain.What
There are a few non-surgical alternatives to SI fusion, however none of them are desirable nor do they treat the underlying problem. The most common alternative to SI fusion is lifelong pain management through medication. Some patients also consider monthly SI joint injections, however those carry side effects with prolonged use.
There are very little to no common risks associated with a successful SI fusion.
Yes. If successful, an SI fusion will provide permanent relief in the treated area.
Yes. However, the human body has 2 sacroiliac joints and the surgeon will treat only the affected joint. It is possible that the problem could occur in the untreated joint in the future.
I recommend that patients with symptoms see a surgeon for evaluation and treatment. There are less effective treatments that some professionals may advise, which use bone grafts instead of metal implants that traverse the entire joint space. These types of treatments do not provide long-lasting relief and usually end up being addressed by a surgeon in the future anyway.
Low back pain is a very common condition that affects a lot of Americans today. The pain can be very debilitating and significantly impair your quality of life. This type of pain is frequently treated with epidural steroid injections. Patients will also experience a progressive need for pain medication. While not every patient with low back pain is a candidate for surgery, any patient experiencing this type of pain for longer than 2 months should consult with a surgeon to determine if surgery is appropriate. Lumbar fusion is a great solution for patients who have the correct indications for surgery.
There are a few non-surgical alternatives to lumbar fusion, however none of them are desirable nor do they treat the underlying problem. Patients who opt out of surgery often choose to live with the pain or use opiates to manage it. It should be mentioned that pro-longed use of opiates comes with its own slew of problems. Other alternatives include the frequent use of epidural steroid injections or the use of radiofrequency ablation (RFA). Neither of these have proven any to provide any long-term benefits.
There are no common risks. Less than 1% of patients who underwent a lumbar fusion may experience infection, nerve injury, or spinal fluid leak. For most patients, the surgery is an effective way to treat their pain.
Yes. If successful, lumbar fusion will provide permanent relief in the treated area.
Yes. However, it is possible to experience issues in other, non-treated levels of your back in the future.
A lumbar fusion is one of the most common surgeries that a spine surgeon performs. As a result of ongoing medical advancements, a lumbar fusion can now be performed through abdominal or lateral incisions. This approach would be considered minimally invasive and would provide for a faster recovery with less pain.