Frequently Asked Questions
- How common are sacroiliac (SI) joint problems?
- It is commonly reported in clinical literature that up to 33% of all back pain is caused by the SI joint.1, 3, 4 The results of a five-year study by Ha et al reported the incidence of sacroiliac joint degeneration in lumbar spine fusion surgery patients was 75% at 5 years post-fusion; significantly higher than in the non-fusion group (38.2%).5
- Who is at risk for SI joint problems?
- Injury from accidents, including falling, is a predisposing factor for SI joint problems. Women may be at increased risk for sacroiliac joint problems because of their broader pelvises, greater neck curvature, and shorter limb lengths. In addition, pregnancy often leads to stretching of the pelvis, specifically the sacroiliac ligaments.
- How would I know if my SI joint may not be properly functioning?
- If you have trouble sleeping comfortably or experience your knee giving way, pain in certain lying or bending positions, or buttock tenderness you may have an SI joint disorder. Speak to your doctor about your symptoms.
- Will my doctor check for SI joint problems?
- Doctors do not always look to the SI joint as a source of lower back pain although many articles have been written about it. This is because there has not been a viable MIS treatment option until now. Your back issues may have been previously diagnosed and related to the lumbar spine. However, if the source of your pain is difficult to assess and/or imaging studies do not indicate a spine problem, the source may be the SI joint. To confirm the SI joint as the symptom source "controlled analgesic injections of the sacroiliac joint are the most important tool in the diagnosis."6
- How will my doctor determine if I am a candidate for the iFuse Implant System®?
- You may be an iFuse surgery candidate if your low back pain is predominantly below your L5 vertebra (fifth large bony body in your low back), you do not have neurological problems, and the doctor can replicate the symptoms when maneuvering your SI joint and confirm SI joint disruption or degenerative sacroiliitis. A diagnostic SI joint injection performed using precise image guidance (eg, fluoroscopy, CT scan) is recommended. Your doctor may repeat the diagnostic injection to confirm your problems are SI joint in origin.
- Tell me about the iFuse Implants.
- The iFuse Implants are small triangular-shaped titanium devices. Titanium is very strong but lightweight and offers a high level of biocompatibility. The implant’s triangular cross sections prevent rotation after implantation. A titanium plasma spray coats each implant and allows for biological fixation. The implants are stiff and designed to hold the joint stable and in place.
- If I have an iFuse procedure, does it affect my ability to have other surgery, if needed?
- In most cases, the iFuse procedure should not affect the ability to have other surgery/ies.
- If I have had other spine or orthopedic surgeries does this affect my ability to have SI joint fusion surgery?
- In most cases, the iFuse Implant System can be appropriately used in patients with previous orthopedic surgery and implants (ie, lumbar or hip surgery, or even after both). Your doctor will determine whether your health, including any impact from previous surgery influences your being a candidate for SI joint fusion surgery.
- How can I learn about SI-BONE®, the company that developed the iFuse Implant System®?
- Visit their website at http://si-bone.com. SI-BONE, Inc. is the leading sacroiliac joint medical device company dedicated to the development of tools and products for diagnosing and treating patients with low back issues related to SI joint pathology. The company has developed, and is manufacturing and marketing, less invasive approaches using implants for the treatment of SI joint disorders.
This information is not intended to take the place of a doctor's advice. Please keep in mind that treatment and outcome results vary among patients. The iFuse Implant System is intended for sacroiliac joint fusion for conditions including sacroiliac joint disruptions and degenerative sacroiliitis. As with all surgical procedures and permanent implants, there are risks and considerations associated with surgery and use of the iFuse Implant. You should discuss these risks and considerations with your physician before deciding if this treatment option is right for you.