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

SI Joint Pain No Longer Dictates Elizabeth’s Life

“Thanks to my SI joint fusion, I am no longer planning my day around my 24-hour pain. I'm able to be a full-time student again and enjoy life to its fullest.”

My Journey
In 2009, I was dropped in a cheerleading accident at the age of 17. I immediately felt shooting pain across my lower back, and I had difficulty sitting and standing.

My primary care physician referred me to a local orthopaedic and pain management clinic. I had an MRI of my lumbar spine and was diagnosed with a bulging disc. I underwent an array of treatments over the next couple of years, including physical therapy, epidural steroid injections, narcotic pain medication, and acupuncture. Nothing relieved my ongoing back pain or restored my physical function.

Elizabeth was able to resume normal activities after iFuse surgery to treat sacroiliac joint pain“I wasn’t able to go out and be a normal college student. I had to give up being a small group leader in my church because I could not sit for long periods.”

I wasn’t able to go out and be a normal college student. I had to give up my role as a small group leader in my church because I could not sit for long periods or participate in overnight retreats. I just didn’t feel like doing anything.

My pain management physician referred me to an orthopaedic spine surgeon for another opinion. The orthopaedic spine surgeon gave me a sacroiliac (SI) joint injection to understand whether my SI joint was the source of my pain. My pain went away for the first time since my injury after the injection, and I was referred to the surgeon’s partner who was familiar with the SI joint and the iFuse Implant System.

My surgeon recommended I undergo an SI joint fusion, but my surgeon wanted to wait until I was in my mid- to late-20s to perform the procedure. I did not want to delay the procedure, so I wrote a heartfelt letter to my surgeon explaining my 5-year plight of debilitating and life-altering pain.

Update
After careful consideration, I underwent the iFuse procedure in 2014. I was in pain after the surgery, but I knew it was temporary and that I could handle it after all I had been through.

After surgery, I used a walker and crutches for a short time. I also participated in physical therapy, which was beneficial to my recovery.

In late 2015, I resumed my role as a small group leader at my church and even went on a Mission trip to Guatemala. I now regularly swim, walk, exercise on an elliptical machine, and attend yoga classes.

Pain no longer dictates what I can do. I feel like I can do everything.

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: 05/05/17

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