- Back Story
- SI Joint Trauma
- iFuse Implant Procedure Date
- June, 2014 Left side
"Thanks to my SI joint fusion, I am no longer planning my day around my 24-hour pain. I'm able to be a full-time student again and enjoy life to its fullest."
Elizabeth recalls a specific event in 2009 when she was dropped while cheerleading at age 17. She felt immediate shooting pain across her lower back that led to difficulty sitting and standing. Elizabeth’s primary care physician referred her to a local orthopedic and pain management clinic. She underwent an MRI of her lumbar spine and was diagnosed with a bulging disc.
Treatments over the next couple of years included physical therapy, epidural steroid injections, narcotic pain medication, and acupuncture. Nothing relieved her ongoing back pain or helped her physical limitations.
Her pain management physician referred her to an orthopedic spine surgeon for another opinion. “I wasn’t able to go out and be a normal college student. I had to give up being a small group leader in my church because I could not sit for long periods of time or participate in overnight retreats. I just didn’t feel like doing anything.”
The orthopedic spine surgeon gave Elizabeth an SI joint injection to determine whether her SI joint could be the source of her ongoing pain. Elizabeth’s pain resolved (disappeared) for the first time since her injury and was therefore referred to the surgeon’s partner who was familiar with the SI joint and the iFuse Implant System.
While an SI joint fusion was recommended, her surgeon wanted to wait until Elizabeth was in her mid to late 20s to perform the procedure. Elizabeth wrote a heartfelt letter to the surgeon explaining her 5-year plight of debilitating and life-altering pain.
After careful consideration, Elizabeth underwent the iFuse procedure in 2014. “There was pain after the surgery, but I knew it was temporary and I knew I could handle it after all I had been through.”
After surgery, Elizabeth used a walker/crutches for a short time and attended physical therapy which she felt was beneficial. Later the next year she resumed her role as a small group leader at her church and went on a Mission trip to Guatemala. Elizabeth now regularly swims, walks, uses an elliptical machine, and attends yoga classes. “I feel like I can do everything. Pain no longer dictates what I can or cannot do.”
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