Attend our National Patient Webinar on April 24 at 7:00 pm EST!  More Information

Find a Buddy

75128537 SI Buddy Cheryl

Cheryl's Story

Back Story
Prior Lumbar Fusion
iFuse Implant Procedure Date
January 2021 right side, March 2022 left side
Connect with Cheryl

"Enjoying what I haven't been able to do for years - flower and vegetable gardening and walking my dogs! All thanks to the Ifuse procedure on both SI Joints!"

I had lumbar fusion surgery in 2009 and again in 2014. I am fused from L-1 to my sacrum. In 2017 I started to experience hip pain bilaterally. The right being more painful than the left. I went back to my orthopedic spine surgeon who performed my lumbar fusion, and he felt my pain might be coming from my SI joints rather than my hip. He explained that patients who have had a prior lumbar fusion are at greater risk of developing SI joint dysfunction. He sent me for SI joint therapeutic injections and prescribed diclofenac. The injections did work for short durations, and I had several over the course of a year. My pain was not getting any better, so my surgeon suggested an SI joint fusion surgery. I agreed and we attempted to get approval from my insurance company. They denied my procedure saying it was “experimental”. My pain was now grinding on the right side. I also had pain on the left, but not as severe as the right. I was still working full-time as an administrative assistant for the school district. Walking and sitting were becoming more difficult. I had to use the scooter to shop at Costco and the grocery store. During the appeal process I was sent to pain management. I was now taking tramadol, muscle relaxants, and wearing a 5% lidocaine patch 12 hours a day for pain relief. SI-BONE did assist with my appeal process, but we were unable to get the denial reversed.

In 2019, I turned 65 years old and retired from the school district. I was able to change insurance to Medicare with a supplemental plan from UnitedHealth Care. January 2021, I had a right SI joint fusion utilizing the iFuse TORQ® Implant System. After surgery, I was partial weight-bearing for 6 weeks utilizing a walker. The recovery was easier than after my lumbar fusion procedures. I had bending, lifting, and twisting restrictions. I attended physical therapy which helped with muscle stiffness.

My right SI joint pain resolved with surgery, but I continued to have pain in the left. The pain had now moved to my lower back. I continued with pain management and my prior medication regimen. My surgeon sent me for a left diagnostic SI joint injection which confirmed my SI joint was a source of my pain. In March 2022, I had a left SI joint fusion utilizing the iFuse TORQ® Implant System. Recovery seemed even easier with the second procedure because I knew what to expect. I had the same weight-bearing restrictions as well as limitations of bending, lifting, and twisting. I was released to all normal activity following my second SI joint fusion in September of 2020. I now can walk my dog and enjoy working in my garden pain free!

The SI Buddy® program is reserved for patients who have been diagnosed by a trained surgeon and recommended for the iFuse procedure. SI Buddy volunteers have been successfully treated with the iFuse Implant System®. Although many patients have benefited from treatment with the iFuse Implant System, patients' results may vary. They are not medical professionals and their statements should not be interpreted as medical advice.

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. The iFuse Implant System is also intended for sacroiliac fusion to augment immobilization and stabilization of the sacroiliac joint in skeletally mature patients undergoing sacropelvic fixation as a part of a lumbar or thoracolumbar fusion. In addition, the iFuse Implant System is intended for sacroiliac fusion in acute, non-acute, and non-traumatic fractures involving the sacroiliac joint.

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, talk to your doctor and visit: Rx Only.

Connect with this Buddy

* Required fields

Contact Information

Looking for Answers?

We can help. Tell us what you're looking for below.