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Panette's Story

Back Story
SI Joint Trauma
iFuse Implant Procedure Date
December 2017, Left side
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“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.”


6 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 any thing 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 radio frequency 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.

I am happy to share that I am now back to walking 2 miles a day with my husband.


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.

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®. They are not medical professionals and their statements should not be interpreted as medical advice.

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