- Back Story
- SI Joint Degeneration
- iFuse Implant Procedure Date
- May 2019, Right side
"Living and loving life again after my iFuse procedure"
In 2013 I was training to run my first half marathon. After a 5-mile training run, I was walking home and started to experience severe spasms in my lower back. I sat in the first chair I could find when I got home because the pain was so severe. This occurred on a Thursday. By Saturday I was in so much pain I was unable to get up to use the bathroom. My husband insisted I go to the ER. I had an x-ray and was sent home with narcotic pain medication, muscle relaxants and a referral to see a neurosurgeon.
I did consult with the neurosurgeon who ordered an MRI. Based on my physical exam and the MRI results, he recommended an L5-S1 lumbar fusion to relieve my pain. My husband was ill at the time and I had to postpone my lumbar fusion surgery. I was referred to pain management. I wore a back brace, used a tens unit, had physical therapy, and modified my activity. My lower back pain was now sharp and intense. I spent many days in bed dealing with my pain.
In January 2014 I had an L5-S1 lumbar fusion. The first 3 months I was feeling “ok”. At 6 months my pain had improved but was not resolved. An MRI revealed limited bone growth and I was prescribed a bone growth stimulator that I wore for 6 additional months. My pain was different at this point. I was experiencing pain lower down in my buttock area. I now had pain with sitting and walking. I was unable to sleep. It was affecting my balance. I could no longer pick up my grandbabies or play with them on the floor. At this point my neurosurgeon suspected something else was causing my pain.
I was sent back to pain management for an SI joint injection. I felt great after the first injection! It was a week of pure bliss. I did 4 more injections over the next 2 years. The injections became less effective over time. I was then referred to a surgeon for an open SI joint fusion. My insurance company denied the procedure. I gave up at this point. This was my life and I was going to have to learn to live with it. I no longer could sit in the car to travel. We had to sell our multi-level home so I wouldn’t have to climb so many stairs. I spent most days in bed. I suffered mentally as well as physically.
In 2019, my neurosurgeon referred me to a surgeon in Provo, Utah to see if I was a candidate for the iFuse procedure. He agreed I would be an excellent candidate for the procedure. In May 2019, I had a right SI joint fusion utilizing the iFuse implant system. The surgery went well and my recovery was uneventful. My SI joint pain was gone following surgery. I can now pick up my grandkids, walk the dogs, and sit through the movies and church. I have been on a family camping trip, traveled to New York City and Oregon all pain free. My debilitating pain in no longer there.
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