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SI Buddy Natalie

Natalie's Story

Back Story
SI Joint Trauma
iFuse Implant Procedure Date
January, 2018 Right side
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"I no longer take everyday tasks for granted. I have my life back!"


In 2013, I was loading 50-pound truck tires onto a rack while working for the military. I turned away from the rack to grab another tire, when two of the tires fell from the rack landing on my lower back and right buttock. I felt like I had been hit by a car. The impact took my breath away and I was in a lot of pain. I took 800 mg of ibuprofen and finished my shift. I rested at home that evening. The next morning, I was in so much pain I was unable to go to work. I went to the walk-in clinic on our base and was seen by the physician. I had an x-ray that was negative for any fractures. He said I had a bruised muscle and that it would take a few weeks to heal. He prescribed muscle relaxants and oral anti-inflammatory medications. I was to come back in a few weeks if my pain persisted. My low back pain did not resolve, and I returned to the clinic. I was then referred for physical therapy which increased my pain symptoms. I was sent to another therapist who was also qualified to do manual adjustments. I was seen several times a week and these sessions did relieve my pain for short periods of time. I was still trying to stay active by working out at the gym.

In May of 2015, I woke up with tingling in my right thigh. This was a new symptom. By the following day, I was unable to feel part of my thigh. I was now living in Texas and was seen by a new primary care physician. I was sent back to physical therapy and sent for numerous MRI’s. They were unable to determine what was causing my pain and feeling of numbness. I was also developing pain in my right buttock. I was put on narcotic pain medication. I was using a cane to walk, and a motorized scooter to shop. I was dragging my leg behind me. Everyday tasks were difficult. I had to move to an apartment without stairs, because they were unmanageable. I still worked full time driving a truck picking up aircraft parts.

I had a random conversation with a nurse during an aesthetics appointment describing to her my symptoms. She suggested maybe my SI joint was the cause of my pain and numbness. I went back to my primary care physician and asked his thoughts. He suggested we try an SI joint injection. I had immediate pain relief from the lidocaine, but my pain returned soon after the numbing medication wore off. He also gave me trigger point injections into my piriformis muscle. These provided temporary relief. I continued with weekly injections until I moved to Florida in 2017.

Once situated in Florida, I started my own research and found the SI-BONE website. I found a surgeon in my area and received a referral to set up a consultation. After an examination by the surgeon, I was sent for two SI joint injections and a nerve conduction study. The SI joint injections relieved my pain and my nerve study was normal. This confirmed diagnosis of SI joint dysfunction. I was offered the iFuse procedure as a solution to help my SI Joint pain.

In January 2018, I had a right SI joint fusion utilizing the iFuse implant system. My recovery was not easy. I am a single mother with two children. My family was very helpful during my recovery. I used a walker and wheelchair after my surgery. I was non weight bearing for 8 weeks. I returned to work part time 4 weeks after surgery. Once released from restrictions, I started to walk unassisted and went back to the gym. I no longer take everyday tasks for granted. I have my life back!

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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