- Back Story
- SI Joint Degeneration
- iFuse Implant Procedure Date
- November 2020, right side
"My SI fusion gave me the opportunity to return to a life filled with new adventures, goals, and possibilities."
I had worked in over 99 countries before I retired in 2014. I had fallen off a camel in Egypt, been a passenger on a motor bike in Thailand, and bounced around in the back of a jeep on several African safaris. I don’t recall having any lasting pain after these adventure type activities. Maybe it was cumulative, and I eventually paid the price of having SI joint dysfunction.
In January 2020, we took a trip to Disney World and a cruise with our children and grandchildren. We probably walked 5 miles a day. When we returned, I felt a sudden sharp pain in my right buttock that went down the back of both thighs. It was a burning nerve pain. I didn’t go to my doctor because of Covid-19 and thought that it was just sciatica. I could barely walk ½ mile at this point. I thought that increasing my daily walking would help, but it only made my pain worse.
In June 2020, I finally went to see my primary care physician. He thought I most likely had a disc issue and sent me for an MRI and to pain management. They sent me to physical therapy, which helped a small amount and I would occasionally take Tylenol and ibuprofen for pain control. I had a cervical fusion several years ago by a neurosurgeon I really liked. I decided to consult with him about my buttock and leg pain in July 2020. My lumbar MRI showed some mild stenosis, but nothing significant. He did a physical exam which included provocative testing and thought my pain was most likely coming from my SI joint. He sent me for an SI joint injection. It was wonderful! My pain was gone for about a month. I returned for a second injection, but this one did not give me much relief. He suggested I see his partner to discuss an SI joint fusion.
In October 2020, I saw his partner and we decided I would be a good candidate for the iFuse procedure. I had a right SI joint fusion in November 2020. I couldn’t believe how good I felt when I woke up from surgery. My nerve pain and my buttock pain were gone. My post-surgical pain was distinctly different than my previous pain. It was the first surgery of the day and was up walking by early afternoon. I used a walker for 4 weeks, then was released to physical therapy where we worked on strength and balance.
Now I am back to walking daily and continue my strength training. I had to cancel two trips to Africa because of my SI joint dysfunction, but just recently returned from a trip to Barbados pain free!
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