SI joint fusion

Posted by cmeadows09 @cmeadows09, Jun 23 7:29pm

Looking for others that may have had SIJOINT Fusion and continue with muscle pain

I have had L3-L5 fusion as well as SI joint fusion on my right side. It’s been 3 years since the si joint fusion. My problem is that recently I began having extreme butt pain especially when I sit or do a lot of walking. I don’t take pain medication, with the exception of lyrics for nerve pain, from nerve damage. The pain is more like muscle

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@cmeadows09

I have had L3-L5 fusion as well as SI joint fusion on my right side. It’s been 3 years since the si joint fusion. My problem is that recently I began having extreme butt pain especially when I sit or do a lot of walking. I don’t take pain medication, with the exception of lyrics for nerve pain, from nerve damage. The pain is more like muscle

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Have you been evaluated for the new pain and any possible cause for it? Something that begins 3 years after a surgery, even if in the same area of the body, should be investigated with your provider.
I had pain such as your are describing, 6 years after hip replacement surgery, and it turned out the root cause was a treatable case of bursitis.
Sue

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Thank you for your response. My original doctor passed, so I went to a neurologist and he found nothing wrong. Fusions are terrific, but pain is very real. So really didn’t know if maybe I needed more exercise.

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@cmeadows09

Thank you for your response. My original doctor passed, so I went to a neurologist and he found nothing wrong. Fusions are terrific, but pain is very real. So really didn’t know if maybe I needed more exercise.

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It's great that the neurologist didn't find an organic problem – that means you should be able to get this under control.
One thing to remember – do EVERYTHING in moderation – sit a little, move a little, exercise a little, walk a little – and gradually add as your body tolerates. Building strength and endurance will take time.

Since you asked about activity, I will tell you that, when I was in chronic intense pain last year from arthritis, the pain doc's first recommendation was PT. The last thing my poor body wanted to do was to move! But she was exactly correct, and I saw a PT for many weeks. I now have a ready list of exercises and stretches I do daily, and some I can add when specific aches and pains crop up. I also walk or do physical labor every day. Maybe you can get a referral for PT from the neurologist or your primary provider to break the cycle of pain.

There are a number of exercises shown online for a painful SI joint. Here is one resource showing some of them: https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/exercise/strengthening-exercises-sacroiliac-joint-pain-relief

Finally, there a a couple of home remedies that can sometimes help with acute pain –
Move – if you have been sitting, get up and walk, bend, twist for at least 5 minutes – even when it hurts.
Lie on your back, knees bent, ice pack on most painful area, for 20-30 minutes. Repeat as needed. Larger gel packs or a two pound bag of frozen peas or corn work – refreeze & reuse.

Remember, it took 3 years to get to this level of pain, so it will take some time and effort to reduce. Do everything in moderation – when you are sitting, get up and move a few minutes every hour or even half hour. When you are walking, take a break every few minutes – even leaning against a wall or tree can help.

Good luck,
Sue

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Thank you so very much.

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@sueinmn

It's great that the neurologist didn't find an organic problem – that means you should be able to get this under control.
One thing to remember – do EVERYTHING in moderation – sit a little, move a little, exercise a little, walk a little – and gradually add as your body tolerates. Building strength and endurance will take time.

Since you asked about activity, I will tell you that, when I was in chronic intense pain last year from arthritis, the pain doc's first recommendation was PT. The last thing my poor body wanted to do was to move! But she was exactly correct, and I saw a PT for many weeks. I now have a ready list of exercises and stretches I do daily, and some I can add when specific aches and pains crop up. I also walk or do physical labor every day. Maybe you can get a referral for PT from the neurologist or your primary provider to break the cycle of pain.

There are a number of exercises shown online for a painful SI joint. Here is one resource showing some of them: https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/exercise/strengthening-exercises-sacroiliac-joint-pain-relief

Finally, there a a couple of home remedies that can sometimes help with acute pain –
Move – if you have been sitting, get up and walk, bend, twist for at least 5 minutes – even when it hurts.
Lie on your back, knees bent, ice pack on most painful area, for 20-30 minutes. Repeat as needed. Larger gel packs or a two pound bag of frozen peas or corn work – refreeze & reuse.

Remember, it took 3 years to get to this level of pain, so it will take some time and effort to reduce. Do everything in moderation – when you are sitting, get up and move a few minutes every hour or even half hour. When you are walking, take a break every few minutes – even leaning against a wall or tree can help.

Good luck,
Sue

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I second your experience. I am somewhat hypermobile and the joint doesn't stay put, leading to hip and sciatica pain. My manual PT gave me stretches that put it into place. Even when I get remiss in doing the stretches, I can go back and do them; ice/heat helps and I get past it. Ergonomics matters, but the big thing is not to sit for long stretches of time. I like Dr Jo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UoITjubrgE

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I had SI Joint fusion on the 27th of April of this year. There was a lot of pain relief, but there was also different pains. My buttocks, hip ( I had bursitis in my hip many years ago and it felt much like that), and the upper part of the back of my leg hurt especially when I first got up in the morning, walked or stood for more than a few minutes. It has eased with time. I thought it had eased enough to go for a 15-20 minute walk… I was wrong. I had a six week follow up .. I told my doctor that I tried and failed and my doctor said he was proud I wanted to try. He said to just take it easy for a while longer .. don't push it too hard … do not do a lot of bending, no heavy lifting (no more than a gallon of milk) and try not to twist any at all (the bone graft needs time to complete and it can take up to 6 months.. some people less and some people longer since we are all different).

I had a hard time figuring out a position in which to sleep. I seem to do best on our sofa. The back of the sofa helps me to keep my spine straighter and I use a pillow between my knees to ease pain too. I switch from my side to as flat as I can on my back during the night. I have slept with a pillow between my knees since knee surgery (my kneecap went off to side and I had a release done) in 2006. It takes bit of getting used to a pillow especially in changing positions. I started off with a travel pillow and then went to a thinner regular pillow that keeps my ankles from banging together. It may take a few tries to get the right pillow… don't waste your money on the specialty pillows.

I think I will be good in a few months. A couple of days before the SI joint fusion though my bladder prolapsed a little. I had found it too difficult to do the Kegel exercises with the Si joint pain. I have been doing them since the procedure, but with no success. I go to a urogynecologist on 14 July and see what she can do to help me. Hopefully not more surgery.

What has helped is the instructions I mentioned above from my doctor. He also said to use ice and or heating pad. I use a heating pad in the morning and in the evening now. .. and sometimes during the day if I have been a bit more active. He told me to remember that he made a change to my body and when a change is done it is often felt in other parts of the body. Most of the time the pains in other areas will subside, but if they do not then he needs to know. I will see him again in a few weeks and hopefully my body will have improved even more by then.

I think with time all will be well… then I wait for the other shoe to drop 😁.. what is next??? Aahh an the adventures of life… it would be boring without them, but I need a rest from them,

ZeeGee

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After I had my S.I. joint fused to my pelvic bone 2 1/2 years ago, I tried to tell my neurosurgeon about the severe pain I had over the S.I. area especially when any pressure was put on it such as laying down on it. The P.A. I had to speak to made a rude remark about it and probably didn't even mention it to the surgeon. I mentioned it to the surgeon at a 6 month check up and it was ignored completely. finally now after 2 1/2 years my dear rheumatologist ordered steroid injections in bilateral hips and bilateral S.I. joints and I'm finally getting some relief from the pain. The take away from this is that if your surgeon doesn't do his job then seek out another doctor who will before you have to endure years of pain.

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@fourof5zs

I had SI Joint fusion on the 27th of April of this year. There was a lot of pain relief, but there was also different pains. My buttocks, hip ( I had bursitis in my hip many years ago and it felt much like that), and the upper part of the back of my leg hurt especially when I first got up in the morning, walked or stood for more than a few minutes. It has eased with time. I thought it had eased enough to go for a 15-20 minute walk… I was wrong. I had a six week follow up .. I told my doctor that I tried and failed and my doctor said he was proud I wanted to try. He said to just take it easy for a while longer .. don't push it too hard … do not do a lot of bending, no heavy lifting (no more than a gallon of milk) and try not to twist any at all (the bone graft needs time to complete and it can take up to 6 months.. some people less and some people longer since we are all different).

I had a hard time figuring out a position in which to sleep. I seem to do best on our sofa. The back of the sofa helps me to keep my spine straighter and I use a pillow between my knees to ease pain too. I switch from my side to as flat as I can on my back during the night. I have slept with a pillow between my knees since knee surgery (my kneecap went off to side and I had a release done) in 2006. It takes bit of getting used to a pillow especially in changing positions. I started off with a travel pillow and then went to a thinner regular pillow that keeps my ankles from banging together. It may take a few tries to get the right pillow… don't waste your money on the specialty pillows.

I think I will be good in a few months. A couple of days before the SI joint fusion though my bladder prolapsed a little. I had found it too difficult to do the Kegel exercises with the Si joint pain. I have been doing them since the procedure, but with no success. I go to a urogynecologist on 14 July and see what she can do to help me. Hopefully not more surgery.

What has helped is the instructions I mentioned above from my doctor. He also said to use ice and or heating pad. I use a heating pad in the morning and in the evening now. .. and sometimes during the day if I have been a bit more active. He told me to remember that he made a change to my body and when a change is done it is often felt in other parts of the body. Most of the time the pains in other areas will subside, but if they do not then he needs to know. I will see him again in a few weeks and hopefully my body will have improved even more by then.

I think with time all will be well… then I wait for the other shoe to drop 😁.. what is next??? Aahh an the adventures of life… it would be boring without them, but I need a rest from them,

ZeeGee

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I feel your pain and understand. I took myself off opioids after 6 months it is a struggle but worth trouble. Good luck on your recovery

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@suzfuse46

After I had my S.I. joint fused to my pelvic bone 2 1/2 years ago, I tried to tell my neurosurgeon about the severe pain I had over the S.I. area especially when any pressure was put on it such as laying down on it. The P.A. I had to speak to made a rude remark about it and probably didn't even mention it to the surgeon. I mentioned it to the surgeon at a 6 month check up and it was ignored completely. finally now after 2 1/2 years my dear rheumatologist ordered steroid injections in bilateral hips and bilateral S.I. joints and I'm finally getting some relief from the pain. The take away from this is that if your surgeon doesn't do his job then seek out another doctor who will before you have to endure years of pain.

Jump to this post

Absolutely!! I was fortunate to have an awesome surgeon for my back and SI joint fusion sorry he’s not still around. I was doing well, then about 2.5 years it seems to be aggravated ice and my handy rice bag do pretty good. Good luck with your recovery

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Thank you for the kind remarks. It's hard to be your own advocate when messages just don't get acknowledged and you are unable to find a receptive, proactive doctor.

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