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What to Know About Sacroiliac Joint Fusion

What to Know About Sacroiliac Joint Fusion

Back pain pops up for many reasons, including injuries and chronic conditions like spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease. However, most people forget that the sacroiliac (SI) joints can also lead to severe low back pain.

If you're living with sacroiliac joint dysfunction and other conservative treatments haven't reduced your discomfort, you might be a candidate for an SI joint fusion.

An SI joint fusion is a minimally invasive, cutting-edge surgical treatment that relieves back pain. At Kellogg Brain and Spine, Dr. Jordi Kellogg offers various surgical treatments for back pain, including an SI joint fusion.

Dr. Kellogg is a board-certified neurosurgeon with years of experience treating difficult back conditions like sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

What are the SI joints?

The SI joints are two joints located on either side of your pelvis and connect it to your lower spine. Your SI joints help to support your upper body while you're standing.

The SI joints are extremely stable and have limited motion because of a network of tough ligaments. They serve several important functions in the body, including:

Although the SI joints are strong and stable, wear-and-tear and injury can lead to pain. The nervous system connects to the SI joints, sending pain signals when dysfunction occurs.

Signs of SI joint dysfunction

As you age, the SI joints change due to degenerative changes, which cause them to lose mobility and stability. When this happens, you can experience a variety of symptoms, including the following:

The symptoms of SI joint dysfunction vary depending on the severity of the damage in the joints. The pain may be constant or come and go with sitting and standing. In severe cases, SI joint pain prevents you from performing normal activities.

Who needs an SI joint fusion?

If you have back pain not relieved by conservative measures, an SI joint fusion may be a good option. Dr. Kellogg carefully evaluates your symptoms and examines your back to determine if you're a good candidate for the procedure.

Dr. Kellogg also orders imaging studies such as an MRI to look at the SI joints in your spine. If he determines the SI joints are damaged and other treatments haven't helped relieve your symptoms, he discusses an SI joint fusion.

Pain that limits your normal activities and inhibits you from working or getting normal physical activities warrants an SI joint fusion.

The facts on SI joint fusion

An SI joint fusion is a minimally invasive option to relieve chronic pain from SI joint dysfunction. It's a simple yet effective procedure to reduce pain and improve your quality of life.

You're under anesthesia during the procedure, so you don't feel anything during surgery. Dr. Kellogg then makes an incision on the lateral aspect of your buttock.

He then uses surgical tools to cut down through the muscle and tissues to access the pelvis area where the SI joints sit.

Dr. Kellogg uses fluoroscopy, a special type of X-ray, to guide a special pin on a drill to pass triangular-shaped implants toward the SI joints.

He then passes the implants through the incision to the SI joints and secures them into place with screws. The implants provide stability and structure to damaged SI joints, which helps reduce pain and improve function.

After the procedure, you spend time in the recovery room before going home. Dr. Kellogg follows your progress through recovery to ensure you're healing properly.

To find out if a sacroiliac joint fusion can help your back pain, call one of our offices in Oregon today, or request an appointment with Dr. Kellogg on our website.


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