Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction causes anywhere from 25-50 percent of low back pain. 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 Neurosurgery One, 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.
Our surgeons conduct a careful evaluation of all of our patients with low back pain to understand if the SI joint is causing the pain. If your physician has diagnosed you with SI joint dysfunction and you have tried nonsurgical treatments for at least six months but still have pain, we may recommend SI joint fusion surgery.
We perform minimally invasive SI joint fusion surgery to help stabilize the joint. This then relieves the pain. To perform the fusion surgery, your surgeon will place small titanium implants that stabilize the joint by making two small incisions that don’t require cutting through muscle or ligaments.
Our patients typically leave the hospital within one to two days, and they 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.
FAQs About SI Joint Fusion Surgery
Continue reading below to learn more about SI joint fusion surgery, or click on one of these links to go directly to the information that interests you.
- How long will I be in the hospital after surgery?
- How long is the recovery time?
- Can I have SI joint surgery if I’ve already had lumbar surgery or a hip replaced?
- What are the risks of having SI joint surgery?
- Will I be able to do all my favorite activities once I’m fully recovered?
- What can be expected from SI joint fusion surgery?
Conditions We Treat
How long will I be in the hospital after surgery?
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.
How long is the recovery time?
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.
Can I have SI joint surgery if I’ve already had lumbar surgery or a hip replaced?
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.
What are the risks of having SI joint surgery?
Complications are rare, but risk is inherent to any surgery. Some possible complications are infection, bleeding, or nerve damage.
Will I be able to do all my favorite activities once I’m fully recovered?
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 can be expected from SI joint fusion surgery?
As with many surgeries, you may be instructed not to 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 four to six weeks after surgery. Most patients can return to work within six weeks and are back to full activity within six months.