Austin Neurosurgical Institute
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery & Complex Spine Surgery located in Austin, TX
If you have sacroiliac (SI) dysfunction or inflammation in the SI joint, sacroiliac joint fusion can offer pain relief and improved quality of life. At Austin Neurosurgical Institute, accredited neurological surgeon Thomas Loftus, MD, FAANS, uses minimally invasive surgical techniques to conduct this surgery, which can greatly improve your quality of life. Call the Austin, Texas, office today to learn more about how sacroiliac fusion can help you, or use the online tool to book a consultation.
Sacroiliac Fusion Q&A
What is sacroiliac dysfunction?
The sacroiliac joint (or SI joint) connects the hip bones to either side of your sacrum. Its primary role is to absorb shock between the lower body and the torso. If there’s dysfunction in the SI joint, you may experience serious lower back pain as well as pain in the pelvis, hip, and groin.
About 15-30% of low back pain is caused by dysfunction at the sacroiliac joint. Pregnancy, childbirth, and lumbar spinal fusion increase your risk of SI joint inflammation or dysfunction.
What is sacroiliac fusion?
Sacroiliac fusion involves merging the SI joint. The goal is to reduce the pain and instability caused by inflammation and dysfunction of this joint.
To perform sacroiliac fusion, Dr. Loftus makes a small incision in the buttock region and drills holes in the sacrum and ilium. He then places a bone graft to stabilize the joint and promote fusion.
The grafted bone may be obtained from your hip or pelvis. Bone from a bone bank or synthetic material may also be used.
The procedure is done using minimally invasive techniques so you have very small incisions, resulting in minimal blood loss and scarring as well as a relatively fast recovery.
Am I a candidate for sacroiliac fusion?
Most people with sacroiliac dysfunction and pain can manage their symptoms using pain relievers, therapeutic injections, and physical therapy. If these non-surgical treatments fail to help you find relief, however, fusion may be an option.
If you continue to have significant pain in the low back, groin, or hip that interferes with daily activities, despite efforts to manage the pain, a fusion can help.
SI joint dysfunction can also make it painful to walk, climb stairs, or walk up an incline. You may suffer limited mobility in your low back, hips, and legs. Your symptoms may worsen after long periods of sitting or after lying on the affected side for too long.
When these symptoms interfere with your ability to work, handle daily chores, and participate in activities you enjoy, consider sacroiliac fusion.
If you have debilitating sacroiliac pain, consider fusion as a treatment option. Call Austin Neurosurgical Institute to learn more, or use the online tool to book a consultation.