Sacroiliac Joint Fusion Minimally Affects Adjacent Lumbar Segment Motion: A Finite Element Study

Lindsey DP, et al. Int J Spine Surg. 2015;Vol 9:Article 64. doi: 10.14444/2064.

Abstract

Background

Adjacent segment disease is a recognized consequence of fusion in the spinal column. Fusion of the sacroiliac joint is an effective method of pain reduction. Although effective, the consequences of sacroiliac joint fusion and the potential for adjacent segment disease for the adjacent lumbar spinal levels is unknown. The objective of this study was to quantify the change in range of motion of the sacroiliac joint and the adjacent lumbar spinal motion segments due to sacroiliac joint fusion and compare these changes to previous literature to assess the potential for adjacent segment disease in the lumbar spine.

Methods

An experimentally validated finite element model of the lumbar spine and pelvis was used to simulate a fusion of the sacroiliac joint using three laterally placed triangular implants (iFuse Implant System, SI-BONE, Inc., San Jose, CA). The range of motion of the sacroiliac joint and the adjacent lumbar spinal motion segments were calculated using a hybrid loading protocol and compared with the intact range of motion in flexion, extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation.

Results

The range of motions of the treated sacroiliac joints were reduced in flexion, extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation, by 56.6%, 59.5%, 27.8%, and 53.3%, respectively when compared with the intact condition. The stiffening of the sacroiliac joint resulted in increases at the adjacent lumbar motion segment (L5-S1) for flexion, extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation, of 3.0%, 3.7%, 1.1%, and 4.6%, respectively.

Conclusions

Fusion of the sacroiliac joint resulted in substantial (> 50%) reductions in flexion, extension, and axial rotation of the sacroiliac joint with minimal (< 5%) increases in range of motion in the lumbar spine. Although the predicted increases in lumbar range of motion are minimal after sacroiliac joint fusion, the long-term clinical results remain to be investigated.

Authors: Derek P. Lindsey, MS,1 Ali Kiapour, PhD,2 Scott A. Yerby, PhD,1 Vijay K. Goel, PhD2

1 SI-BONE, Inc. San Jose, CA,
2 Engineering Center for Orthopaedic Research Excellence (E-CORE), Departments of Bioengineering and Orthopaedic Surgery, Colleges of Engineering and Medicine, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH