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What is Minimally Invasive Sacroiliac Joint Fusion?

Inflammation or irritation of the SI joints may cause pain in the lower back, abdomen, groin, buttocks, or legs. Minimally invasive SI joint fusion is a procedure designed to stabilize the SI joints by grafting the sacrum to the ilium using instrumentation, bone graft, or both in order to fuse the bone, limiting movement. When both SI joints require surgery, one joint is treated first and the second joint surgery is scheduled after complete recovery from the first one.

Sacroiliac Joint Anatomy

Sacroiliac (SI) joints are joints in the lower back region, where the sacrum and ilium bones join. Although these joints are small and have limited motion, they play an important role in connecting your spine to the pelvic bone and lower part of your body. They perform an important function in absorbing shock from the upper portion of your body.

Minimally Invasive Sacroiliac Joint Fusion Procedure

  • You will be lying on your stomach under the influence of general anesthesia
  • Your surgeon makes a small incision - usually 2 to 3 centimeters - on your buttocks. The gluteal muscles are dissected to access the ilium and to create a small hole.
  • The opening of the ilium is enlarged to provide passage for the implants to reach the sacrum.
  • If a bone graft is required, it is placed in the joint space once the area is cleaned.
  • The implant instruments are then guided through the passage created in the ilium and are placed using pins, screws, or a mallet.
  • The incision is then closed in layers using standard sutures.

The surgery usually takes about an hour, and you will need to be in the hospital for a day or two to recover.

Advantages of Minimally Invasive Sacroiliac Joint Fusion

Some of the advantages of minimally invasive sacroiliac joint fusion include:

  • Reduced post-operative pain
  • Reduced blood loss
  • Smaller incision and less damage to surrounding tissues
  • Fewer complications
  • Quicker recovery time

  • Hao-Hua Wu, M.D.

    101 The City Drive South
    Pavilion 3 Building 29A
    Orange, CA 92868

  • UCI Health — Tustin

    1451 Irvine Blvd.
    Tustin, CA 92780

  • UCI Health — Newport Beach

    2161 San Joaquin Hills Road
    Newport Beach, CA 92660

  • UCI Health — Yorba Linda

    18637 Yorba Linda Blvd.
    Yorba Linda, CA 92886

  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Pennsylvania Logo
  • UCSF department of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Harvard Medical School
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • AOSpine
  • North American Spine Society
  • Global Spine Research Initiative