SI Joint Fusion Surgery
Anywhere from 25 percent to 50 percent of low back pain is caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction. If you suffer from low back pain, pain in the buttock, groin and/or leg that hasn't responded to physical therapy, injections or pain medication, you may have SI Joint Dysfunction. At South Denver Neurosurgery, we specialize in diagnosing and treating low back pain and SI Joint Dysfunction for patients in Littleton, Centennial, Highlands Ranch or throughout the Denver metro area.
At South Denver Neurosurgery, we conduct a careful evaluation of all of our patients with low back pain to understand if the SI joint is the cause of the pain. If a patient is diagnosed with SI Joint Dysfunction and has tried non-surgical treatments for at least six months but still has pain, we may recommend SI joint fusion surgery.
We perform minimally invasive SI joint fusion surgery to help relieve stabilize the joint, which then relieves the pain. Performing the fusion surgery through two small incisions that doesn’t require cutting through muscle or ligaments, your surgeon will place small titanium implants that stabilize the joint.
Our patients typically leave the hospital within one to two days, and return to work within four to six weeks. People who choose SI joint fusion report significant pain relief and improved quality of life, with greater than 80 percent patient satisfaction.
SI Joint Fusion Surgery FAQs
Q: How long will I be in the hospital after surgery?
A: With today’s technology, SI joint surgery is minimally invasive, which means less pain and faster recovery times. In fact, your surgeon makes only two small incisions about 2 centimeters in length. Most people go home after one or two days in the hospital.
Q: How long is the recovery time?
A: Everyone heals differently, but typically you’ll need crutches for four to six weeks after surgery. It’s recommended that you avoid lifting, climbing stairs, and sitting or standing for extended periods of time for three weeks following surgery. Your physician will examine you at the four to six week mark to determine what activities are safe for you to do.
Q: Can I have SI joint surgery if I’ve already had lumbar surgery or my hip replaced?
A: Yes, having previous lumbar surgery or a hip replaced will not prevent you from having SI joint surgery. But your doctor should consider your overall health and any previous procedures to determine whether SI joint surgery is right for you.
Q: What are the risks of having SI Joint surgery?
A: Complications are rare, but risk is inherent to any surgery. Some possible complications are infection, bleeding, or nerve damage.
Q: Will I be able to do all my favorite activities once I’m fully recovered?
A: Most people are able to return to their favorite activities once they’ve fully recovered from SI joint surgery. But talk to your doctor before participating in extreme sports or activities that may not be safe for you.
What to Expect from SI Joint Fusion Surgery
As with many surgeries, you may be instructed to not eat or drink for several hours before surgery and which prescribed medications you should take the morning of surgery.
Most people are administered general anesthesia for SI joint surgery. The surgery is done through two incisions in the buttocks, each about 2 centimeters in length. Most SI joint surgeries take one hour.
Most people who undergo SI joint surgery remain in the hospital one to two days. Ice can help with any swelling around the incision area. You will need crutches for support while walking for 4-6 weeks after surgery. Most patients can return to work within six weeks and are back to full activity within six months.
South Denver Neurosurgery Surgeons and Hospitals
Dr. Bernard Guiot performs SI Joint Fusion Surgery at the South Denver Neurosurgery spine center. Dr. Guiot is one of the most highly trained spine surgeons in the Rocky Mountain region, having completed three specialty spine fellowships. Dr. Guiot is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgeons and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Read Dr. Guiot’s complete bio.