SI Joint Fusion Surgery is indicated when the injection helps but only for a short period of time. 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.
A small incision is made on the side of the buttock that is about 1-2 inches long. The surgery technique is designed to be minimally invasive to lessen your recovery time and maximum the protection to the surrounding tissue. Through the use of the x-ray machine the fusion devices are guided into place across the joint line. The soft tissue is then closed. The surgery takes about one hour.
After surgery you can expect to have buttock pain from the incision, this will resolve as time goes on. The patient will ambulate with crutches and be no weight bearing on that leg for about 6 weeks after surgery. At that point if the x-rays look good the patient may start to do toe touch weight bearing. In no time the patient will be full weight bearing hopefully without any pain.