Long Term Domino Effect of SI Joint Fusion

Hello.  I have been searching through the forum but haven't found anyone that has had SI joint fusion over 5-10 years ago.  I've read that the fusion surgery will only cause a domino effect and within a year or two, the hip joint will go.  I'm facing SI fusion but I'm really afraid of what will happen a few years out.  I'm also fused from L3 to S1.  Please, can anyone offer me advice or experience?  Thank you so much!



  • Hi there! I just had the surgery on August 15th and my surgeon did tell me I will eventually have to to my other side. I already have problems with my other side so I knew I would have to have both anyway. I know someone who has had the surgery several years ago and she hasn't had any other problems. At this point, I'm very happy that I did the surgery. :) When is your surgery? please feel free to ask me any other questions. 

  • My experience with SI joint fusion in June is basically, that I was knocked on my butt! I had a new disc and fusion in my L4-5 December of 2016 & got very little relief. PT after that surgery turned into PT specifically for my right SI, sacrum, and right hip. My surgeon decided to do the SI fusion in June. Again, very little relief (if at all) and I still hurt just as bad as I did. Granted, yes, I can move my right leg certain ways that I couldn't before, but my SI area and hip are still in so much pain, I feel like I have totally wasted my time. I run out so energy fast and I can't stand, sit, or ride in a car for very long periods. Everyone is different but my own experience is that the SI fusion was a "success" by surgeon's skill and X-rays, but a total failure as far as pain relief for me. I've followed Drs instructions, taken it easy, etc. and as I type this I am laying on an ice pack and still on strong pain meds. I wish you

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  • GingersnapGGingersnap CaliforniaPosts: 5

    Stephanie1113.  Your story sounds just like mine.  I had my fusion in October 2016.  My pain is primarily in the buttocks and SI Joint and I have 24/7 pain.  I can sit and ride in a car but standing for a long period doesn't work.  I also live with a cold compress. I changed doctors so I could get of Vicodin.  I am now on some non-narcotic pain reducers. And like you my doctors and the xrays say the surgery was a success but a failure as far as pain relief.

    Are you any better now?

  • sandinmyshoesssandinmyshoes Posts: 1
    edited 12/10/2017 - 10:20 AM

    I have degenerative disc disease and had fusions 4/5 & 5/S1 but now have severe pain in SI joint. Physician says Fusions were successful but now this new pain. They are trying to figure out if SI joint fusion is the answer--therapy makes it more painful...I guess I need to keep reading more patient feedback don't want to go through that fusion and have no relief. ..thanks Sandinmyshoes

  • I had L4-S1 fusion done in 2002 and C3-5 in 2012. My hips started really bothering me about the same time and I thought something was wrong with the hip joint itself. I was encouraged to go ahead with a SI fusion in 2015. I am two and a half years post op and have incredible pain in groin area and low back, especially at night. Turning myself in bed is awful. I cannot say that the fusions have helped with pain relief, just structural soundness. However, I know that it's a domino effect and I have five other herniated discs, spread out in all three levels of my spine. I'm 49 and feel 99 many days. I'm supposed to go in for a hardware block in my SI area to see if that is generating pain but the thought of another invasive surgery to remove the hardware, scares me spitless. 

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  • I had my SI fused in December 2011. At first, I thought it was the answer to my prayers & my sciatica was completely gone! But then the pain started. My groin, my hip, and my lower back. The sciatica didn’t return, but the other pain was horrible.  I’ve did my best to just live with  it, had injections, sleep with pillows, ice & cold packs, and medications.  I’ve searched for any related outcomes/ long term effects of the SI fusion, and only found raving reviews. I felt like I was going crazy, or it was “all in my head”, until I came across this forum. God bless you all!!!   Anyway....  I just came from my PC who had ordered a CT be done on my mid to lower back since my pain has not only increased, but has gone higher up my back( been dealing with this “new” pain for approx six months) and the sciatica is coming back.  It seems I now have a bulging disc at L5 S1 and stenosis ( and a kidney stone, but that’s child’ s play compared to this chronic back/hip/groim pain!). So here I go again!  The thought of more injections & seeing if this or that will work absolutely exhausted me! I have a life I want to live & I want to do it now already!  Any advice or encouragement would be greatly appreciated!!

  • My symptoms started in September of 2016 with severe pain in my rt. buttock which radiated down my hip and into my quad.  Could not sit for more than 5 minutes without terrible spasm. I had epidural injections in my hip and L3-L4 disc level with no relief.  MRI's, x-rays, trigger point injections, you name it.  Doctor recommended and performed SI joint fusion in August of 2017.  I could now sit but standing and walking now were difficult. In March I had a bursa injection in my hip which gave me relief for a month. Pain returned with a vengeance. In June of 2018 they determined that L3-L4 was ruptured so I had a discectomy done.  Surgery relieved my sciatica but by August I developed pain across my low back and into my right hip with spasms that take my breath away.  Doctors are baffled and my outlook is growing dim.  I have always been very active and take good care of myself.  My advice absolutely do not have an SI joint fusion.  

  • I had a left Sacroiliac fusion in June 18. I had a posterior sacroiliac ligament injury and the fixation did not alter the ligament pain . It made things worse as it strained the ligament more an£ I now find out from Dr Bruce Dall’s book it was not indicated for my problem . I have more pain than pre-surgery and am barely able to walk at all My advice make sure it’s not a ligament problem , get a Spect CT first , as it will make a ligament problem worse. I have sever3 pain with any weight bearing 

  • hi Karen, did you have positive diagnostic injections and provocative testing to confirm the pain was coming from your si joint before you had surgery? What technology was your si fusion? (Ifuse, Rialto, Zyga) just wondering because I am contemplating whether or not to have this surgery. Thanks
  • Hi Nate I had 2 positive diagnostic joint injections but they numb joint and ligament so beware as the joint capsule is incomplete. I had iFuse , my advice have Rialto or zyga if you do have it doneas iFuse is almost impossible to remove ! 

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