- Back Story
- SI Joint Trauma
- iFuse Implant Procedure Date
- December 2017, Left side
“Life is too short to live in pain. Take the plunge and find an iFuse doctor who can determine if iFuse is right for you.”
Six years ago, I was attempting to pick up a cement birdbath and fell to my knees. I immediately felt a sharp pain in my right lower back like someone was stabbing me with a knife.
The next day I was unable to walk because I was in so much pain and decided to consult with a local chiropractor. He took x-rays which were negative, applied a TENS unit and performed massage. I was in more pain when I left his office than when I went in, so I decided to consult my general practitioner the same day. I could barely drive to his office because it was extremely painful to sit. His first impression was that I had a muscle strain and he prescribed narcotic pain medication and muscle relaxants. I took the medication and the pain did resolve enough that I could walk and sit. It never completely went away.
Three months later the knife-like pain returned, and I had a second appointment with my General Practitioner (GP). He prescribed the same regimen of medications but did mention that if I had another reoccurrence, further investigation would be needed.
I lasted another 6 months and then started to have shooting pain down my right leg. I was seen by my GP for the third time and x-rays were ordered which were inconclusive. At this point I was unable to walk long distances, sit for any length of time, and sleeping was difficult. Rolling over in bed was very painful. I could no longer do yard work or perform normal household duties. This pain cycle continued for the next several years.
In 2015 I returned to my GP for another follow-up visit and was referred to a spine specialist. I then consulted with a spine specialist who had performed surgery on my daughter. I took my MRI results to the appointment and he did a new set of x-rays. The MRI did not show anything conclusive and my x-rays looked normal. He did perform a series of provocative tests on my right side but was still uncertain where my pain was coming from. He sent me to a pain management physician for a series of therapeutic injections into my right SI joint. I had complete pain relief for 2 weeks! When the pain returned, I also noticed pain in my left lower back and SI joint area as well as the right. I had SI joint radiofrequency ablation bilaterally which resolved my pain issues for one year.
When my pain returned, it was more prominent on the left than the right. I scheduled a follow-up visit with my spine surgeon. This time he performed the series of provocative tests on the left side which were extremely painful. He gave me 3 options for treatment: physical therapy, more injections, or a surgical procedure called iFuse Implant System® (iFuse). After six years of dealing with this, I decided I was ready for a permanent solution to my pain.
In December 2017, I had my left SI joint fused with the iFuse implant system. When I woke up from the surgery, I instantly knew I had been operated on, but my pain was not the same. My low back pain was no longer sharp, more of a dull ache. I had a 1 ½ hour drive home from the hospital. I was able to sit with minimal discomfort and even stopped to have lunch. I used a walker at home for 3 weeks and was sleeping pain free. I was even able to drive myself to my first follow-up appointment. I am happy to share that I am now back to walking 2 miles a day with my husband, planting flowers in my garden and working part-time at my daughters’ school.
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