Spine Specialists of Louisiana
Jorge E. Isaza, MD
Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon & USCIS-Immigration Medical Exams located in Baton Rouge, LA
If you have chronic lower back pain but your doctor can’t find a problem with your back, the problem may lie in your sacroiliac joint. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction causes 15-30% of all cases of chronic lower back pain. Jorge Isaza, MD, and the experienced team at Spine Specialists of Louisiana have extensive experience accurately diagnosing sacroiliac joint problems and providing comprehensive care, including minimally invasive sacroiliac joint fusions. To get help with a sacroiliac joint problem, call the office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, or schedule an appointment online.
Sacroiliac Joint Fusions Q&A
What are the sacroiliac joints?
The sacroiliac joints connect your left and right hip bones to the sacrum, which is the bottom of your spine just above the tailbone.
Joints normally allow movement, but the sacroiliac joint is different because it has limited mobility. Instead, this joint provides stability, absorbs shock, and transfers weight and force between your upper and lower body.
What causes sacroiliac joint dysfunction?
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction occurs when the structures in the joint are damaged. As a result, the joint loses stability, often becoming hypermobile and moving too much. You may also develop sacroiliitis, which is inflammation in the joint.
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction develops due to:
- Sports injury
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Sprained or weakened ligaments
- Traumatic injury such as a fall
- Prolonged bending or lifting
- Repetitive activities such as jogging
The ligaments that support the sacroiliac joint also stretch and weaken during pregnancy, which can lead to joint dysfunction.
What symptoms develop due to sacroiliac joint dysfunction?
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction commonly causes lower back pain. You may also experience pain in the joint, as well as in your buttocks, groin, legs, and feet. Some patients develop numbness or tingling.
These symptoms are often misdiagnosed because many practitioners don’t examine the sacroiliac joint. The team at Spine Specialists of Louisiana treats the spine as a whole, so they examine and treat the sacroiliac joint with the same care they provide to the rest of your spine.
When might I need a sacroiliac joint fusion?
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is initially treated with conservative therapies, such as modifying your activities and following a regimen of stretching and strengthening exercises.
You may need steroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or interventional treatments such as joint injections and nerve blocks to relieve the pain.
When your pain persists or gets worse, or you have difficulty walking, the team at Spine Specialists of Louisiana talks with you about minimally invasive surgery to fuse the joint.
What happens during a sacroiliac joint fusion?
Dr. Isaza and the team at Spine Specialists of Louisiana specialize in cutting-edge spinal procedures that stabilize joints, relieve pain, and restore optimal function. For sacroiliac joint dysfunction, they use the iFuse Implant System® developed by SI-BONE®.
During your procedure, Dr. Isaza uses fluoroscopy, a type of X-ray that provides live imaging, allowing him to view your joint and guide the procedure.
After making a small incision in the side of your buttock, he inserts several triangular-shaped rods into the sacroiliac joint. The implants effectively fuse the two bones together and restore joint stability.
If you develop lower back or hip pain, call Spine Specialists of Louisiana or book an appointment online.