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I'm living life again!
Several years ago, I fell off a step ladder while doing some work at my mother in law’s home. I fell backward and landed hard on my buttocks. It knocked the wind out of me. After the fall, I started to experience a dull ache in both my butt cheeks that went up into my lower back. I could manage my discomfort with over the counter pain medications.
In 2011, I coughed and had immediate severe back and buttock pain. I fell to the ground like a ton of bricks. I was having severe back spasms and was unable to get off the floor myself. With my wife’s help, I crawled into bed, and that is where I stayed for a week. The pain and spasms where so severe, I finally went to see my PCP who prescribed muscle relaxants, narcotic pain medication and suggested I see a chiropractor. The chiropractor sent me for x-rays, performed manual therapy and prescribed a tens unit. My pain and spasms were now manageable. I wore a back brace and started a home exercise program.
In 2014, I had another flare up with severe back spasms and was referred to a pain management specialist. I could no longer cut the grass, go grocery shopping with my wife, and I avoided using stairs at all costs. My physician sent me for an MRI which showed degenerative disc disease and some changes to my SI joints. I started receiving trigger point injections into the muscles of my back and SIJ areas which did provide some minimal relief. I could get the injections every few months. Sitting was becoming more difficult. I gave up going to baseball games because I couldn’t sit that long. My pain specialist suggested we try SI joint injections. They provided some pain relief so I received them every 3 months for a year.
In 2016, my wife did an internet search for SI joint fusions and found the SI-BONE website. We requested a list of trained surgeons in our area and chose one to see for a consultation. Initially, the surgeon thought my pain was coming from my lumbar spine based on my MRI and x-rays. He then performed a physical examination, including a series of provocative tests that were very painful. Based on that information, and my positive response to the SI joint injections, he thought I would be a good candidate for the iFuse procedure.
In November 2016, I had an SI joint fusion on the right side utilizing the iFuse Implant System®. I didn’t have much pain when I woke up from the procedure. I stopped taking my pain medication two weeks after the procedure and started walking short distances. Twelve weeks later I had the left side done and I remember being able to sleep with less pain. I would sleep on my back and prop my legs up on a pillow for comfort. Sitting gradually became less painful. I would sit for an hour and then get up and move around. Four weeks after my second surgery I started physical therapy. I could work from home as an IT support person during my recovery. I am now happy to say that I have resumed playing golf, grocery shopping with my wife and going to the movies. I shovel snow during the winter and can even bend over and touch my toes.
The SI BuddySM program is reserved for patients who have been diagnosed by a trained surgeon and recommended for the iFuse procedure. SI Buddy volunteers have been successfully treated with the iFuse Implant System®. They are not medical professionals and their statements should not be interpreted as medical advice.
The iFuse Implant System is intended for sacroiliac fusion for conditions including sacroiliac joint dysfunction that is a direct result of sacroiliac joint disruption and degenerative sacroiliitis. This includes conditions whose symptoms began during pregnancy or in the peripartum period and have persisted postpartum for more than 6 months. It may not be appropriate for all patients and all patients may not benefit. For information about the risks, visit: www.si-bone.com/risks.