Sacroiliac (SI) joint fusion is a procedure that is designed to stabilize the SI joint. The SI joints are large joints that connect the sacrum, the bone at the bottom of the spine, to the ilium of the pelvis. The SI joint is an essential component for shock absorption. Although typically idiopathic in nature, the SI joint can become painful in patients that have had a previous fusion. Once the source of your pain is determined to be the SI joint and you have failed extensive non-operative treatment, your surgeon may discuss with you a SI joint fusion. There are different methods to perform a SI joint fusion, including percutaneous instrumented fusion or an open instrumented fusion. For many patients, once stability of the SI joint has improved, their pain also improves.
This surgery could be considered if you have failed non-operative treatments and have confirmed the source of your pain is your SI joint. Non-operative treatments include time, rest, activity modification, oral medications, physical therapy, injections, radiofrequency ablations and/or prolotherapy.
Yes, this surgery can be performed in a minimally invasive manner, with small incisions.
Reviewed by: Dr. Thomas Schuler, MD, FACS, FAAOS.