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SI Buddy Phil

Phil's Story

Back Story
SI Joint Degeneration
iFuse Implant Procedure Date
October, 2012 Right side
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"iFuse was life changing for me. I can sleep without pain, play golf, and most importantly, get out with my family."


Phil is an active adult and was an avid softball player, golfer and skier. During a softball game many years ago, Phil was running in the outfield to catch a ball and noticed the onset of pain in his right lower back. He was able to manage his discomfort with NSAIDs and activity modification for several years. 

In 2005, while picking up his son, Phil noticed an increase in this back pain. He began to have difficulty standing for long periods of time and sleeping. Phil noticed his back pain to be continuous and debilitating. He eventually had to give up playing softball because he was unable to run. He also gave up golfing and skiing, activities he loved. 

In 2008, Phil was seen by a chiropractor who tried manual therapy, deep tissue massage, and electrical stimulation treatments to relieve his ongoing back pain. These therapies provided only short-term relief. “When you are in pain, you will try anything to get rid of it.” In 2010, Phil consulted with an orthopedic surgeon. This surgeon took x-rays and sent Phil for a series of diagnostic injections to his lumbar spine and SI joint. Phil was told he had arthritis in his SI joint which could be the cause of his pain. “It felt like my SI joint was slipping out of place.” 

He was offered radiofrequency ablation and prolotherapy as treatment options for his SI joint pain. The surgeon told Phil that “old traditional” SI joint fusion did not have good outcomes and that he should resolve himself to live with the pain. Phil decided to research SI joint fusion on the internet and found the SI-BONE website. He was then able to locate a surgeon who was trained to perform the iFuse procedure. This surgeon was 90 miles from Phil’s home, but he felt it was worth the drive. The surgeon ordered an MRI, performed the provocative tests, and sent Phil for two SI joint diagnostic injections before concluding “This is a classic example of SI joint dysfunction.”

“I no longer have back pain.”


In October of 2012, Phil underwent the iFuse Procedure. He remembers having surgical pain when he woke up from anesthesia, and that the 1 ½ hour-long car ride home was a challenge. “I had to lay flat in the back seat. The first three days following the surgery were difficult.” He utilized crutches for a short duration post-operatively and then was allowed to walk unassisted as tolerated. In March of 2013, Phil was released to resume all activities he previously had given up. He is back to golfing, walking, and coaching his son’s baseball team. “I no longer have back pain.”

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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