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95293759 SI Buddy Elizabeth 2023

Elizabeth's Story

Back Story
SI Joint Trauma
iFuse Implant Procedure Date
June, 2014 Left side
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"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.

“I feel like I can do everything. Pain no longer dictates what I can or cannot do.”


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.”

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.

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