Relief after failed Conservative SI Joint Therapies - Jenni's iFuse Story | SI-BONE

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Jenni's Story

Back Story
SI Joint Degeneration
iFuse Implant Procedure Date
February, 2019 Right side, June, 2020 Left Side
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"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." - Philippians 4:13


I am an aerobics instructor and thought I strained my lower back while teaching a class in 2016. I experienced muscle tightness and pain on the right side of my lower back. At that time, I was also rehabilitating my knee for a torn meniscus injury and was attending physical therapy regularly. I asked my therapist to look at my back during a session and he suggested that dry needling could help with the muscle tightness and pain. 

I had 3 sessions and each time I experienced some relief, but then the pain would return. He preformed a series of maneuvers to reproduce my pain patterns and believed my pain was coming from my right SI joint. He was newly trained in the provocative testing and wanted me to see an SI joint physical therapy specialist to confirm.

I was seen by the specialist, who performed the same maneuvers, and determined it was my SI joint causing my discomfort. I was still teaching aerobics classes 3 times a week and working full time as a teacher. My physical therapist referred me to a pain management specialist for additional testing and treatment. He ordered an MRI which was negative for anything significant. He then suggested we try a therapeutic SI joint injection. I had significant pain relief for several months, but then the pain returned. I was still attending physical therapy regularly, but then my pain changed. It moved to the front of my hip and radiated down the front of my leg. My right knee also began to buckle. I was also noticing pain in my left lower back. 

I had another SI joint steroid injection with good relief that lasted several months, but then the pain returned. I had to give up teaching aerobics and had to use a cane when walking. Over the course of the winter in 2018, my pain was increasing, and the knee buckling was becoming more frequent. I was unstable in my class room, unable to bend over and unable to stand for long periods of time. My physical therapist and pain management physician suggested I use a motorized scooter. I eventually had to take a leave of absence from work.

My PT suggested I consult with a surgeon regarding an SI joint fusion. Surgery had become my last option. I met with the surgeon, who on my initial examination preformed the provocative testing and determined that both my SI joints might need to be fused. The right being worse than the left, would be done first. I had failed all conservative treatment options prior to meeting with the surgeon, so surgery was offered.

In 2019, I underwent a right SI joint fusion utilizing the iFuse Implant System. I used my motorized scooter for the first few weeks after surgery, advanced to a walker, and eventually a cane for a few days. I was able to return to work in March of 2019. I am back to attending aerobic classes, can stand for more than 1 hour and am able to walk 2-3 miles daily. I still experience pain on my left side but am addressing that with therapeutic SI joint injections. In June 2020, I underwent a left SI joint fusion with the iFuse Implant System. 

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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