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SI Buddy Cheryl

Cheryl's Story

Location
Wisconsin
Back Story
SI Joint Trauma
iFuse Implant Procedure Date
July, 2015 Right side
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"New surgery, new life!"

Background

In 2011, Cheryl took a fall to her right buttock area while at work. She was sent to the emergency room where x-rays of her lumbar spine were taken. The x-ray was negative for any fractures and she was sent home on pain medication and muscle relaxants. From that point Cheryl experienced low back pain on her right side and found sitting to be very difficult. Her physician prescribed physical therapy and more pain medications, but these were not helpful and Cheryl’s pain continued to increase. One year after her initial injury, Cheryl was sent to a pain management clinic for additional evaluation. It was determined her pain was likely coming from her SI joint. She had a series of SI joint injections and radiofrequency ablation of the nerves to the SI joint, both of which provided short-term benefits, but her pain continued to worsen. She was having difficulty sleeping, sitting, and standing, and could only walk short distances. She was unable to continue working and was placed on partial permanent disability in October 2014. Cheryl next had a nerve stimulator implanted, but a large blood clot formed during the procedure. Cheryl remained in the hospital for several days after immediate removal of the stimulator. While in the hospital, Cheryl requested a consult from a surgeon who had performed her lumbar fusion in 2009. The surgeon believed Cheryl’s pain was coming from her SI joint and that she would benefit from SI joint fusion surgery. He did not personally perform SI joint fusions so he referred her to another orthopedic surgeon for evaluation. While this surgeon did perform SI joint fusions, he felt Cheryl’s case was too complicated and he would not operate on her. Fortunately, Cheryl’s pain management physician knew another surgeon who was very experienced with the iFuse procedure. Her new surgeon told Cheryl, “There is new technology available. If you are willing to try it, I am willing to do it.”

When I woke up from surgery, my pain was significantly less. It was the difference between night and day.”

Update

In July 2015, Cheryl had the procedure to fuse her right SI joint using the iFuse Implant System. “When I woke up from surgery, my pain was significantly less. It was the difference between night and day.” Cheryl used crutches for several weeks and attended physical therapy. She returned to work on a half-day schedule several months after her procedure. Cheryl now works full time, enjoys watching her nephew play football and attending her great nieces’ plays. “I was unable to watch sports or school plays because I could not sit that long. I now can enjoy those activities with my family.” Cheryl enjoys being outside and working on her 6 acre farm. She hopes to return to volunteer work with autistic and handicapped children very soon. “Things are pretty much back to normal.”

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