Sacroiliac Pain

Sacroiliac Joint Fusion

  • A minimally invasive procedure to stabiliA minimally invasive procedure to stabilize an injured sacroiliac joint and relieve pain
  • For people who are experiencing intense debilitating pain from an injured sacroiliac joint
  • Forty-five minute procedure is minimally invasive, patients are back to routines in a few weeks
  • Involves spine surgery, center for musculoskeletal care, orthopedics & rehabilitationze an injured sacroiliac joint and relieve pain
  • For people who are experiencing intense debilitating pain from an injured sacroiliac joint
  • Forty-five minute procedure is minimally invasive, patients are back to routines in a few weeks
  • Involves spine surgery, center for musculoskeletal care, orthopedics & rehabilitation

Overview

The Sacroiliac (SJ) Joint lies between the sacrum portion of the spine and the ilium of the pelvis and is supported by an extensive network of ligaments. The joint has a capsule filled with synovial fluid that forms a pressurized space between the sacrum and ilium.

Degeneration or arthritis occurs in the SI Joint when the capsule fails and synovial fluid escapes ​ causing the sacrum and ilium to grind against each other that can lead to inflammation and pain.

​This can commonly occur after a lumbar fusion which leads to hypermobility of the SI Joint. ​

What is the sacroiliac joint?

The sacroiliac (SI) joints, two in number, connect the sacrum at the base of the spine to the iliac bones that form part of the pelvis. When the ligaments or bony surfaces of these joints are damaged due to trauma, arthritis, or other conditions, the SI joints can become a source of intense pain that may radiate into the leg.

How are problems with the sacroiliac joint diagnosed?

A medical history and physical exam using “provocative maneuvers” (tests designed to stress the sacroiliac joints) are commonly employed to diagnose sacroiliac joint problems. Additionally, an injection of a local anesthetic to numb the joint, combined with steroids to reduce inflammation, can provide valuable diagnostic information.

“If this injection results in pain relief, even temporarily, it may confirm the diagnosis,” says Dr. Fahd R. Khan.

How is sacroiliac joint pain treated?

Initial treatment for sacroiliac joint pain may include physical therapy, pain medications, injections, or bracing with a belt. Another option is radiofrequency ablation, an image-guided procedure that interrupts the pain signals traveling from the sacroiliac joint to the brain,” says Dr. Fahd R. Khan.

If these treatments do not provide relief, patients may ultimately opt for a surgery called sacroiliac joint fusion.

What is sacroiliac joint fusion?

Sacroiliac joint fusion is a minimally invasive procedure involving a small incision, usually less than two inches long. “Under image guidance, we insert titanium implants across the sacroiliac joint to provide stability,” says Dr. Fahd R. Khan.

The procedure takes about 45 minutes and is often performed in an outpatient setting. “Most patients return to their normal routine within a few weeks,” Dr. Khan notes. He describes the procedure as a “definitive treatment” for these patients, one that should not affect their range of motion.

What makes California NeuroInstitute's approach to sacroiliac fusion unique?

Dr. Fahd R. Khan says that California NeuroInstitute doctors possess specialized training and expertise, providing patients access to novel treatments.

“Sacroiliac fusion is still in its infancy,” he says. “It’s a cutting-edge technique that is not yet widely available. At California NeuroInstitute, we have world-class physicians who are also researchers involved in the original clinical trials for this procedure.”

California NeuroInstitute researchers continue to focus on developing new surgical techniques that are both more effective and safer, Dr. Khan adds. “Our goal is to improve pain management so that patients can get back on their feet faster.”

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