- Back Story
- SI Joint Trauma
- iFuse Implant Procedure Date
- December, 2019 Right Side
"I am so glad to feel normal again and be able to live my life."
I was in a car accident in June 2016. I didn’t experience immediate discomfort and went about my daily life. Over Labor Day weekend of 2016, I started to have pain in my right buttock area and lower back. The pain became very intense and I ended up in Urgent Care. I was given pain medication and steroids and was encouraged to follow up with my Primary Care Physician. The following week my buttock pain was better, but I now had pain that radiated down the back of my leg and tingling in my foot. I decided to consult with a physiatrist. After my initial consultation I was prescribed physical therapy and scheduled for an MRI. The MRI showed an old disc herniation but nothing significant that was new. It was assumed my ongoing pain was coming from my lumbar spine and I was sent for epidural steroid injections. The injections did not alleviate my low back and buttock pain. I did try chiropractic manipulation, which was beneficial for my back pain, but I was now having aching in my hip while the foot tingling continued. I was taking Tramadol and Ibuprofen to manage my discomfort. I was sent to a hip specialist and diagnosed with trochanteric bursitis. I was prescribed more physical therapy and a hip bursa injection. I was not getting any relief from pain medications or injections.
In order to determine how bad my pain was, I stopped taking all pain medications. My pain level went from a 3 to a 9 immediately. I was now experiencing burning in the front of my thigh and piriformis area as well as low back, buttock and hip pain. My job requires me to sit for long periods of time and this became increasingly difficult. I was only comfortable laying down. I was unable to lift, bend or sit. I was doing a lot of research and self-diagnosing. I obtained a second opinion from another hip specialist. New x-rays and an MRI were ordered for suspected hip labral tear. All testing came back normal and the diagnosis was hip tendinitis. More injections and physical therapy. Nothing was helping.
I found the SI-BONE website and wondered if my pain could be coming from my SI joint. I requested a list of surgeons in my area and set up a consultation with a physician’s assistant. She reviewed my medical history and scans and preformed a series of provocative maneuvers that were very painful. She also noted I was sitting on my left butt cheek with my right buttock elevated. She recommended I see the surgeon, who was trained to preform minimally invasive SI joint fusions. I was sent for an SI joint diagnostic injection which provided pain relief for 24 hours!
On December of 2019, I had a right SI joint fusion utilizing the iFuse implant system. My prior buttock, hip, and leg pain were gone following the procedure. It was achy and sore but not painful. I used a walker for 6 weeks and then transitioned to a cane. I got a lot of rest and forced my self not to push my recovery. I did in-home physical therapy for 4 weeks which was beneficial. Navigating stairs was the most difficult activity to resume. I have occasional soreness in my piriformis muscle, but it is manageable. I still can’t wear high heel shoes, but I am able to sit for longer periods of time and my endurance has returned.
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