Sacroiliac Joint Fusion
SI joint fusion
At the bottom of your pelvis, located between the hips, is an important joint called the sacroiliac joint. The sacroiliac joint connects the sacrum bone (a pelvic bone) to your lumbar (lower back). All of the nerves in your legs connect to your brain through this area, so inflammation or injuries that occur to the sacroiliac joint can cause a lot of problems.
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction can affect your lower back and stem into the hips, groin, buttocks and thigh. It often grows worse with movement or from sitting or standing for long periods of time.
Treatments for sacroiliac dysfunction can include anti-inflammatory and pain medications or physical therapy. However, if these conservative treatments do not reduce the pain or prevent the symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction from interrupting your life, you may need sacroiliac joint fusion.
What is sacroiliac joint fusion?Sacroiliac joint fusion (also known as SI joint fusion) aims to reduce pain in the sacroiliac joint by removing damaged cartilage from the joint and fusing the bones together. This limits mobility in the sacroiliac joint but is typically successful in reducing pain and improving your quality of life. Surgeons can take different approaches to SI joint fusion. Depending on the cause of your sacroiliac joint pain, you may benefit from minimally invasive surgery or open surgery.
Different types of SI joint fusion
- Minimally invasive — This procedure involves the use of a smaller incision and X-ray guidance. Smaller incisions reduce recovery time and pain after the procedure while minimizing risks of infection and blood loss.
- Open — People who cannot benefit from minimally invasive procedures due to severe sacroiliac joint damage can still undergo open SI joint fusion. This is a more invasive procedure using a larger incision, but this is worth it for most people who want to find relief for their sacroiliac joint pain.