Patients' Guide to Sacroiliac Joint Problems
SI-BONE® — iFuse Implant System®

Phil’s Journey from SI Joint Pain Back to Sports

“iFuse was life changing for me. I can sleep without pain, play golf, and most importantly, get out with my family.”

My Journey
I was an active adult and an avid softball player, golfer and skier. My problem started many years ago during a softball game as I was running in the outfield to catch a ball. That’s when I noticed pain in my right lower back. Activity modification and NSAIDs helped to manage my discomfort for several years.

Sacroiliac (SI) joint pain, Phil's story of recovery“When you are in pain, you will try anything to get rid of it.”

In 2005, while picking up my son, I noticed increased back pain. Standing for long periods of time was difficult, and the pain interrupted sleep. The back pain became continuous and debilitating. I had to give up softball because running was out of the question. Eventually, I had to give up golfing and skiing—activities I loved.

In 2008, a chiropractor tried manual therapy, deep tissue massage, and electrical stimulation treatments to relieve my back pain. Unfortunately, the relief was only short-term.

I consulted with an orthopaedic surgeon in 2010. He took x-rays and sent me for a series of diagnostic injections in my lumbar spine (low back) and sacroiliac joint (SI joint). He told me arthritis of the SI joint was the cause of my pain. He offered radiofrequency ablation and prolotherapy treatment. This surgeon told me the outcome of “old traditional” SI joint fusion was not good, and I should live with the pain.

That’s when I decided to research SI joint fusion on the internet and found the SI-BONE website. I located an iFuse surgeon 90 miles from my home, but believed it was worth the drive. This surgeon ordered an MRI, performed provocative tests, and sent me for two SI joint diagnostic injections. The surgeon said, “This is a classic example of SI joint dysfunction.”

I underwent the iFuse Procedure in October 2012. There was surgical pain when I woke up from anesthesia, and the 1 ½ hour-long car rid home was a challenge. I had to lay flat in the back seat. The first three days following surgery were difficult. I used crutches for a short time after surgery. Eventually, I was allowed to walk without assistance as tolerated.

In March 2013, the surgeon released me to resume all the activities. I’m happily back to doing the things I love—golfing, walking, and coaching my son’s baseball team. My back pain is gone.

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 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. There are potential risks associated with the iFuse Implant System. It may not be appropriate for all patients and all patients may not benefit. For information about the risks, read the Important Safety Information.

Updated on: 06/13/17

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