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I can walk without my walker!
My back pain started in 1992 when I slipped on a wet floor and fell landing on my buttocks. I didn’t think much about it when I fell, but realized it was serious when the pain in my low back became so intense I could barely get out of bed the next morning. I went to my general practitioner who took x-rays which were negative. He thought it was a strained muscle and gave me a steroid injection into my left buttock muscles and prescribed physical therapy. I attended physical therapy 3 times a week for several months, but my pain remained the same. He then prescribed a narcotic pain medication, but I did not tolerate it well. I switched to a non-narcotic over-the-counter pain medication which dulled the pain a small amount but did not completely relieve my symptoms. Over the years, I learned to live with the pain and had to modify my activities.
In 2014, my pain became much worse. I had shooting, sharp pain in my left lower back. It became difficult to sit, stand or laydown. There was no comfortable position. I was taking 1600 mg daily of a NSAID with no relief. My GP referred me to a neurosurgeon in a neighboring town for evaluation. I had an MRI which showed multiple lumbar disc herniations, but the surgeon did not feel this was the cause of my pain. He prescribed trigger point injections into my left hip muscles and another round of physical therapy. I had to give up my hobbies of knitting and crocheting because I could no longer sit for even short periods of time. It was difficult to sleep. I began to gain weight because I could no longer be physically active. My pain was becoming more difficult to manage. My surgeon was unable to give me a clear diagnosis and suggested I see a surgeon 4 hours from my home for another opinion. I agreed and made the appointment. After a thorough physical examination and review of my records and scans, he performed a series of provocative tests that were very painful. He suggested an SI joint injection, which was performed the same day in the pain clinic in his office. I had immediate relief from my low back pain which lasted one week. He believed my pain was coming from my SI joint and prescribed a series of therapeutic SI joint injections and another round of physical therapy. The injections gave me limited relief. He offered the choice to continue to live with the pain, or to have an SI joint fusion.
In November 2017, I had a left SI joint fusion utilizing the iFuse Implant System®. When I woke up from surgery I felt like I had a big bruise where my incision was, but my SI joint pain was gone. I had a 4-hour long car ride home. I was able to sit with minimal discomfort. I used a walker for 6 weeks and then a cane. I am now back to quilting, knitting and sewing. I can get out and walk and I have joined a maintenance exercise program at our local hospital. I sing the praises of this procedure to all my doctors and friends.
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.