Sacroiliac dysfunction is the disruption of the normal functioning of the sacroiliac joint (SI Joint). This joint helps to support the upper body when we are standing. With time like any other joint in our bodies, the joint can wear out causing arthritis and pain.
Besides normal wear and tear, trauma, and physical stress from sports can cause SI joint dysfunction to occur. Sometimes after a lumbar fusion the SI joint can start to move more therefore causing pain.
The pain is usually located in the lower back especially in the buttock. It can be unilateral or bilateral. Pain can sometimes be referred to the hip, groin, or down the leg. Symptoms are usually worse with lifting, running, walking, climbing stairs, getting up out of a chair, sleeping.
Treatment can be conservative or surgical. Nonsurgical treatments include wearing a pelvic belt, physical therapy for SI Joint stretching and stabilization, or medications. SI Joint injections can be a conservative treatment or diagnostic for surgery. If injections help but do not last a long period of time then radiofrequency ablation can be tried which will last longer. Surgery for the SI Joint Dysfunction involves a fusion of the joint. This is only performed if the patient meets certain criteria (1) failed conservative treatment with physical therapy and medications and (2) had a SI Joint injection that helped even if only temporary relief. A fusion is achieved through a minimally invasive surgery that places 2-4 devices across the joint to prevent it from moving and therefore preventing pain.