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Michele's Story

Back Story
SI Joint Trauma
iFuse Implant Procedure Date
May, 2016 Left side
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"Thanks to my SI-Joint fusion, I got my busy active lifestyle back! I am forever grateful for my amazing surgeon and his recommendation for this procedure."


Michele has been a cake decorator for over 15 years. In February of 2016, she was putting a load of supplies away and transferring cakes into the freezer. She bent over to lift a cake and immediately felt a sharp pain on the left side of her low back between her buttock area and hip. She assumed she had “tweaked” a muscle and went home to rest. 

The next day Michele found it difficult to get out of bed and walk. The pain had gotten progressively worse. She made an appointment to see her chiropractor who took x-rays, tried manual manipulation and traction to ease her back pain symptoms. These therapies increased Michele’s pain and so she decided to consult with her PCP (primary care physician). 

Based on her physical examination, her PCP suggested she consult with an orthopedic surgeon and was given a list of providers. She had previously had a neck surgery with one of the surgeons on the list, and felt comfortable with seeing him again. 

After reviewing her previous medical and surgical history, and performing a physical examination, the orthopedic surgeon felt that her pain could be generated from her tail bone (coccyx). He sent her to physical therapy for manual coccyx manipulation, stretching and core strengthening. Michele’s pain continued to increase, sitting and walking long distances became more difficult. “I had to modify my sitting position in the car by using a donut.” Michele was unable to perform her work duties as a cake decorator and had to take a leave of absence.

Michele’s surgeon sent her for a lumbar MRI to rule out any abnormalities in the spine and the results were normal. She also underwent a diagnostic SI joint injection to determine if the SI joint was the source of pain. 

Following the SI joint injection, Michele said, “I was able to sit in the car on the ride home pain free because of the injection.” She was then sent for a series of therapeutic SI joint injections which she responded to favorably. Michele was given a diagnosis of SI joint disruption. Her surgeon had been trained in the iFuse procedure and thought Michele could benefit from the surgery.

"When they got me up to walk in the hospital following my surgery I didn’t have pain in my mid-buttock area."


In May 2016, Michele had a left sided SI joint fusion utilizing the iFuse Implant System®. “When they got me up to walk in the hospital following my surgery I didn’t have pain in my mid-buttock area. It felt more like a dull ache than pain.” Michele was allowed to ambulate as tolerated with the assistance of a walker at home. She was able to return to cake decorating 12 weeks following her procedure, 2 days a week for a few hours a day. She is now back to work 6 hours a day decorating cakes, volunteers as a crossing guard at a local school every morning and afternoon, and volunteers as an ambassador for her chamber of commerce. She is now grateful to return to camping, walking, vacationing and spending time with her two toy Chihuahuas.

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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