- New York
- Back Story
- SI Joint Degeneration
- iFuse Implant Procedure Date
- July 2020, left side
“After 30 years, I am finally pain free!”
My back pain started 30 years ago while I was working out at the gym on the hamstring curl machine. I felt a pop and had a sudden sharp pain in my left lower back. I could barely walk out of the gym. My husband came to pick me up and took me to the emergency room. They suggested rest, gave me a shot of narcotics, and sent me home with a prescription for pain medication and muscle relaxants. The pain subsided and I was able to return to the gym. I began to have trouble sitting with a pinching sensation in my left lower back. I managed the pain in this manner for several years.
After the birth of my first child, I had a return of the same pain symptoms and the pain would be exacerbated with something as simple as tying my shoe. I consulted with my PCP (primary care physician) who suggested I “wait it out” since I had no pain going down my leg. He suggested rest and ibuprofen. I was still trying to maintain my work out routine as much as possible. After the birth of my second child, I was bending over to put her in the car seat and had a horrible flare up. I went to urgent care where they diagnosed me with a bulging disc. I was sent home with NSAIDS, narcotic pain medication and muscle relaxants. The only comfortable position was to lay flat on the floor. I was still working full time and raising two children. Sitting and rolling over in bed were very difficult. After the arrival of my third child in 2003, the pain worsened and I was barely able to hold her to feed her. I was trying to raise a 5-month-old baby, and 2- and 3-year-old toddlers.
I finally decided to consult with a chiropractor. I had manual manipulation for almost a year, which made my symptoms worse over time. My back ached, especially when sitting, and my flare ups became more frequent. My new PCP suggested we try physical therapy. When that failed, she sent me to an orthopedic surgeon for consultation. He did an x-ray of the lumbar spine and noted I had a small amount of arthritis. An MRI of my lower back didn’t show anything significant and I was sent on to pain management. I was put through a series of range of motion tests and asked to point specifically to the location of the pain in my lower back. They suggested my pain could be coming from my left SI joint and I was sent for a therapeutic SI joint injection. It was amazing! I had complete pain relief that would sometimes last for 12 months. I went back to physical therapy which was helpful this time and continued to walk and lift weights. This pain management treatment helped for almost 5 years. When my most recent SI injection was not beneficial, I started to investigate other options.
I was finally referred to a surgeon who was trained to preform SI joint fusions. My first consultation was by phone due to COVID-19. He went over all my information and thought I would be a good candidate for the iFuse procedure. I was able to see him in person in June 2020, and he told me to research the procedure on the SI-BONE website. I had confidence in my surgeon right from the beginning and agreed to the procedure.
In July 2020, I had a left SI joint fusion utilizing the iFuse implant system. I went home the same day as the procedure. I had minimal pain and used crutches with 50% weight bearing for 2 weeks. I was sent home with a few exercises and was released to walk on my own after my first post-operative visit. I gradually worked up to walking 3 miles a day, lifting weights, and doing Pilates in my basement. I am back to skiing and working full time. I would recommend this procedure to anyone who has suffered with SI joint dysfunction because I have had such an amazing outcome!
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