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Seattle Spine Institute, PLLC.

Sacroiliac Joint Arthrodesis

The Challenge of Diagnosing Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction and/or Inflammation

Because many of the symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction and/or inflammation mimic symptoms of low back pain, such as pain in your low back and legs, it may not initially be correctly diagnosed. A trained and experienced doctor is your best resource for correctly identifying the root cause(s) of low back pain and discomfort.

Connection between low back pain and sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction or inflammation

It has been reported that up to 30% of all chronic low back pain is due to SI joint dysfunction.1,2 However, patients with SI joint dysfunction may not be correctly diagnosed, leading to unnecessary treatment such as lumbar spine surgery. Additionally, the sacroiliac joint is the most likely source of low back pain after lumbar fusion.3

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction Treatment

Nonsurgical Treatment for Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction and/or Inflammation

Treatment options for sacroiliac joint dysfunction and/or inflammation should be individualized to each patient. The most common conservative (nonsurgical) treatment methods include:

  • Short-term rest – refraining from intense physical activity, twisting, turning or bending
  • Medications – potentially including pain medicines, anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid injections, antibiotics, or radio wave nerve treatment
  • Physical therapy – exercises to stretch and strengthen muscles of the lower back and/or the motion of the sacroiliac joint
  • Preventive therapy – regular exercise, weight loss, and proper techniques for lifting

Surgical Treatment for Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Dysfunction and/or Inflammation

Patients who have not responded sufficiently to conservative treatment therapies for SI joint dysfunction and/or inflammation may be a candidate for surgical intervention. The surgical procedure leads to a fusion across the sacroiliac joint.

The SImmetry® Sacroiliac Joint Fusion System™

The SImmetry Sacroiliac Joint Fusion System is a minimally invasive surgical (MIS) procedure for patients with sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction and/or inflammation (sacroiliitis) who have not gained relief from conservative care. The SImmetry System is the only MIS process with the proprietary SImmetry Decorticator® that allows surgeons to prepare the articular region of the joint and insert bone graft into the joint to help facilitate a true bone fusion. The SImmetry procedure enables a more rapid return to regular activities for patients and a greater potential for a successful SI joint fusion.

True Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Fusion

The SImmetry System is the only minimally invasive SI joint fusion system that includes all three critical steps to achieve true bone fusion across the SI joint:

  • Decortication – preparing the bone surface to trigger the body’s natural healing response
  • Bone grafting – filling the space between bones with material bone may grow across
  • Fixation – placing threaded implants that prevent the joint from moving

Difference Between the SImmetry Sacroiliac Joint Fusion System and Other SI Joint Surgical Fusion Processes

Unlike traditional, open fusion surgery of the sacroiliac joint, which has been practiced for decades, is complex, has a high complication rate, and generally poor outcomes, the new SImmetry minimally invasive surgical procedure offers:

  • Minimal incision size
  • Immediate post-operative stabilization
  • True bone fusion, by creating the conditions that ensures bony growth across the SI joint
  • Potential for a rapid recovery
  1. Simopoulos TT et al. (2012) A systematic Evaluation of Prevalence and Diagnostic Accuracy of Sacroiliac Joint Interventions. Pain Physician; 15:E305-E344
  2. Cohen SP et al. (2013) Sacroiliac Joint Pain: A Comprehensive Review of Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Treatment. Expert Rev Neurother; 13(1):99-116
  3. DePalma MJ et al. (2011) Etiology of Chronic Low Back Pain in Patients Having Undergone Lumbar Fusion. Pain Medicine; 12:732-739