Up to 85% of people will experience back pain during their life. Not just that, but lower back pain (LBP) can account for 15 million doctor visits a year. Lower back pain is often attributed to spine, hip or knee problems. However, the lesser-known sacroiliac joint is also a potential cause for pain.
What symptoms of sacroiliac joint pain to look for
- Low back pain
- Buttock pain
- Thigh pain
- Sciatic-like symptoms
- Difficulty sitting in one place for too long due to pain
- Poor sleep habits
Treatments can range from injections, sacroiliac joint belts, physical therapy or the iFuse procedure. Local Crittenton spine surgeon, Dr. Michael Donahue, has performed more than 100 sacroiliac fusion surgeries using the minimally invasive iFuse Implant System.
The iFuse procedure is a promising procedure for patients with unresolved low back symptoms related to the sacroiliac joint. This joint can become damaged either due to normal wear and tear over time or through injury. When such damage happens, it can cause significant discomfort from the lower back down to the lower buttock region and the upper leg. This discomfort can lead to debilitation and one’s quality-of-life may greatly suffer.
Sacroiliac joint pain can account for up to 30% of all lower back symptoms, but may not be included when your physician diagnoses for lower back pain. “Over the last thirty years, the medical community has focused on the vertebral discs, such as a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease, as a generator of low back pain,” states Dr. Donahue. “Because of this, the sacroiliac joint is often overlooked and should be included as part of a diagnosis for lower back pain.”
The iFuse procedure is designed to offer a minimally invasive solution for patients who are no longer responding satisfactorily to conservative care, but for whom the prospect of a traditional open surgery is not desirable.
The iFuse procedure takes about an hour and involves three small titanium implants inserted surgically across the sacroiliac joint. The entire process is done through a small incision, with no soft tissue stripping and minimal tendon irritation. Patients typically leave the hospital the next day after surgery and can usually resume daily living activities within six weeks, depending on how well they are healing and based on physician’s orders.
Congratulations to Dr. Donahue for reaching the impressive landmark of his 100th iFuse procedure. If you are experiencing lower back pain and interested in learning about your options, contact our physician referral services or visit Dr. Donahue’s website.
For more information on the iFuse Implant System®, go to www.si-bone.com