Sacroiliac Joint (SI Joint) Fusion Specialists
UVNN specializes in minimally invasive, sacroiliac joint fusion surgery as part of its surgical spine care program. We focus on alleviating pain and reversing common symptoms associated with SI joint disorder and provide comprehensive care by utilizing the latest technology and surgical techniques.
UVNN has been named New Hampshire’s Best in Back Surgery and Spinal Fusion by U.S. News & World Report. Our surgeons have received perfect scores on patient surveys for patient care and overall experience.
What is Sacroiliac Joint Fusion?
Sacroiliac joint fusion is a procedure used to stabilize injured or damaged joints. The sacroiliac joints are located in the lower back where the spine meets the pelvis. These joints are responsible for absorbing the shock of movement between the spine and the pelvis. Over time, these joints can become damaged or worn down and cause pain. SI joint surgery relieves discomfort in the lower back and buttocks caused by conditions like arthritis or injury.
SI joint fusion surgery is recommended for people who have chronic pain that has not responded to other treatments. If a patient has received non-surgical treatment without improvement, they are a candidate.
Sacroiliac Joint Fusion Treats Patient Disorders
Symptoms of sacroiliac joint disorders commonly include:
- Pain in the lower back and buttocks
- Stiffness in the lower back
- Instability in the lower back
- Pain when sitting or standing for long periods of time
- Pain that is worse when walking or climbing
Causes of Sacroiliac Joint Disorders
The most common cause of sacroiliac joint disorders is arthritis. Arthritis will cause the cartilage in the joints to break down, leading to pain and inflammation.
Sacroiliac joint disorders may also be caused by:
- Injury or trauma to the area
- Inflammatory conditions like gout
What to Expect During SI Joint Fusion Surgery?
SI joint fusion involves permanently joining the sacroiliac joints together using implants and bone grafts which helps to relieve pain by stabilizing the sacroiliac joints and preventing unnecessary movement.
Our surgeons use one of two approaches: anterior or posterior. The posterior approach requires the surgeon to make an incision near the front of the the hip. This approach provides indirect access to the sacroiliac joints and is used when there is arthritis in both of the joints.
The anterior approach requires the surgeon to make an incision in the front near the hip and provides direct access to the sacroiliac joints. This approach is used when there is instability or damage to only one of the joints.
After making the incision, the surgeon will place the implant and bone grafts into the sacroiliac joints to hold the bones in place while they fuse together. The surgery typically take two to three hours to complete.
Post Operative Surgical Care
After SI joint surgery, patients are taken to a recovery room where they are closely monitored while pain medication is administered to relieve discomfort as needed.
The majority of patients return home on the same day of surgery. The patient care team will review mobility, incision, and post operative instructions in advance of patient discharge.
It takes four to six weeks for the bone grafts to fuse the sacroiliac joints together. During this time, patient’s should avoid putting too much stress on the joints which means no running, jumping, or lifting heavy objects. After the bone grafts have fused the sacroiliac joints together patients may resume all of their normal activities.
Additionally, post surgical checkups are necessary to ensure that the bone grafts have fused the joints together properly.
Risks & Complications
SI joint fusion surgery is a safe and effective procedure. However, as with any surgery, there are potential risks and complications associated with the procedure.
- Nerve damage
- Blood clots
- Bone graft failure
- Implant failure
- Chronic pain