Hi, I am considering this procedure, wondering if anyone has tried this and what their experiences have been like? Recovery times, etc..?
I will need it done on both si joints, the thought of being "fused" is a bit frightening, but I am desperate for some actual relief from this chronic back pain.
I have tried multiple sets of si joint injections and got no real relief from them, just diagnostically I suppose.
My doctor wants me to do the radio-frequency ablation procedure next week- and I am very uncertain about that as well, as I have read very conflicting things the more I research this.
I am holding out for now and seeking a second opinion scheduled at the beginning of December.. Just thought I'd ask around about the iFuse surgery before hand.
Any information or advice is appreciated!
I don't see any replies to your post and was wondering what all happened between then and now. I'm having the procedure on Monday, August 6th. My si-joint went out for the first time in January 2009. Let's just say I've been off of work since December 2010.
I don't see anyone else replying ....but I have had radiofrequency ablation done -twice....7 epidurals...multiple diagnostic freezing "tests" - 3 MRI's - 4 CATscans - 3 Bone scans - etc etc etc...14 years...18 Doctors- 1 who told me to "drink when the pain get bad" -he thought I was faking... and now I am fighting the Canadian Gov't for funding to go down to Seattle and have the IFuse proceedure done...had a consult with Dr there- He thinks I am a great candidate (my pain stems ONLY from my SI Joint)
So gumballprincess....hoping you can email me....tell me how it went for you? after 14 years- this is my only and last hope for lasting pain relief
Sorry I didn't reply sooner. I got an email on 9/28 saying someone replied but when I came to look it said the post was pending approval. I checked back the next day, still nothing and then totally forgot about it. Sorry again. I will attempt to P.M. you my email address and include this message just in case it doesn't show up right away like your didn't. Other then I woke up after the procedure with no SI-Joint pain and it hasn't returned. What all do you want to know? I have lots of stories Some do's and don'ts now and after the surgery. Plus my opinion not only based on my own experiences but on what all I know from research, talking with my doctor - a chief neurosurgeon, my physical therapist, a nurse at SI-BONE and other people on-line who have had the procedure.
I can't email you, I don't have your email address but sent you mine in a private message. Do you know what form of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction do you have? I hope you can see my reply to dani_92. If you have any other questions, just ask. Have you contacted SI-BONE to see if there is any doctor in Canada who has been trained to do the procedure?
Dear Goldenbell, This is the third time I have replied to your post but when my replies are I have no clue. Off hand I can't think if any of my new friends live near Seattle. If you are lucky there will be a couple doctors near you who have been trained to do the iFuse procedure. Some of my friends travel 100 miles one way to the nearest doctor. I live in Baltimore Maryland and when I contacted SI-BONE there was only 3 doctors near me and the one was 54 miles away. I just picked the closest doctor. I sent you a PM with my e-mail address. Please contact me so I can send you my "Whole Story" & Suggestions for you now plus information about Post-Op and answer any questions or concerns you might have. Diane
I had a Hypermobile left SI-Joint. My doctor is a chief neurosurgeon and did the procedure only 4 times before doing mine using a 3-D O-Arm Multidimensional Imaging System to assure perfect placement of the iFuse implants. From the time I said goodbye to my family in pre-op till I was taken to the recovery room was three hours. Surprisingly I woke up with 2 incisions. One for the surgery and a tiny one to the top right side of my sacrum for the GPS. (Medtronic Stealth Station S7 Navigation System) Then I was shocked when I was told I could get up out of bed and walk around on my own. Unbelievable!!! Full weight bearing just hours after the procedure. The area of excruciating horrible terrible pain that extended 6 inches in all directions around my left si-joint was gone and of course my left pelvic bone was now stable. Spent the night just as a precaution and was released first thing the next morning. I stopped by physical therapy before I left and was shown how to get in and out of a car and bath tub plus how to walk up and down a couple steps. As far as restrictions - no bending, no lifting over 10 pounds and no twisting. My two incisions turned hard as a rock and were painful for a week then hurt for five more days when walking. The first night home and the following day while napping my left hamstring locked up. Both times it was an astronomical pain. I couldn’t roll over, could barely get out of the bed and wound up peeing myself. LOL I personally had issues with muscles, on my left side, down my whole left leg and the glud plus a couple areas on my right butt cheek. At my 2 week post-op appointment my doctor was happy with my progress and said I was doing great. He lifted my restrictions and I asked if I could start physical therapy which I did the following week. The heat, electrodes, ultrasound, massage and doing the correct exercises for the muscles I had issues with helped. After 2 visits, 6 days later my glud and the muscles on my right butt cheek no longer hurt and my left leg felt 50% better. To make a long story short. SI-BONE made a set of Post-Op Activity Guidelines that start the day of the procedure. They suggest ice for your incision and not to lay in the hospital bed with your head elevated. There are exercises for hamstrings, gluds, etc. that can be started like the day after the procedure. I didn’t get them till after I started physical therapy, at 4 weeks post-op. I questioned my doctor about them at my 6 week post-op appointment. He said that non of the other 4 patients complained about anything. They all said their si-joint pain was gone and that’s all they said. He never sent any of them to physical therapy. They were all in their mid to late 60’s. Did they not experience incision or muscle pain? Were they just so happy that their si-joint pain was gone that they didn’t say anything? I’ve found a couple forums and a half a dozen people asking about, going to have and probably had the procedure but non of them have replied to my post or private message asking how they made out. There is a woman at AskVille called gailytop who’s husband had the procedure but it didn’t seem to work. He’s had more back surgeries then you can imagine and she doesn’t really answered specific questions about the procedure. I talk to, email a Karen at Spine Universe who had the procedure 4 months ago. She’s very happy with the outcome and as of last week is doing great except a possible muscle in her groin which I don’t think is related to the surgery. She also doesn’t talk much, be specific or answer all my questions. As you can see I ramble on but keep in touch. You can ask me anything, might take a day or two to answer but I will. I did send you a private message with my email address if you want to continue to talk throw here or email. Take care, Diane
eekawolf - you sound JUST like me. 16 yrs of SI problem, 5 unnecessary spine surgeries with 2 major screw-ups (back when docs didn't believe in SI joints as pain generators....), one neurosurgery that fixed some of the issues created by the SI issues (plus some genetic defects in my nerves and muscles structure). I live in Boston and NOT A SINGLE DOC here will acknowledge this issue. I had to travel to CA to get help. I have had countless injections, radiofrequency ablations, acupuncture, prolotherapy, chiropractic, etc. You name it - i've tired it. MY options now are: iFuse or peripheral nerve stimulator implant (NOT spinal nerve stim). Supposedly there is a doc in New Hampshire my lame insurance may cover.
I will do just about anything to get off the pain meds I have been on for 10 years and get rid of this pain that has taken my life and career away from me.
I'd be interested in hearing from anyone that has had an iFuse for a few years. I am all too familiar with back surgery recovery - I am a pro at that - not an issue for me. It is the long term effects that I care about - is it worth it?
FYI, I have a blog at misdiagnosedme dot wordpress dot com - in some of my earlier posts I talk about my issues with getting help for this and my other chronic health issues (don't worry - I'm not one of "those" people with every trendy chronic disease - I just seem to get the are weird ones no docs can figure out....)
I have a friend in BELLINGHAM, MA. She contacted SI-BONE and was given a list of doctors near here who have been trained to do the iFuse procedure. (still in the diagnostic stage) There are now 3 SIJD groups on Facebook. Someone there might be able to help you. I had the iFuse procedure on August 6, 2012 - I'm almost 1 year post-op. Since I posted my story here and on several other forums over 50 people have contacted me. 15 of my new friends have had the iFuse procedure since I met them. In my opinion the 5,300 people who have had the iFuse procedure have gotten on with their lives and aren't on line talking about it. Diane