Posted on May 23, 2022
Marilyn remembers she “couldn’t even walk,” after low back pain became progressively worse. Having had prior treatment for neck pain through Dr. Jonathan Daitch, a board certified Interventional Pain Management physician, she sought his care again.
After careful review of diagnostic imaging, Dr. Daitch explained to Marilyn that her pain was originating from inflamed sacral joints.
The sacrum is a large, wedge-shaped bone at the base of the spine in the pelvis. The sacroiliac (SI) joints connect the sacrum to the iliac bones, which look like “wings” on each side of the sacrum.
The sacroiliac (SI) joints can cause pain when the joint is thrown out of position or when the cartilage wears down. Breakdown of SI joints can occur from:
Nearly 20-30 percent of all back pain is generated by the SI joint. Females and those who have previous lumbar spine surgery have a higher incidence of SI joint pain and dysfunction.
Sacroiliac pain typically occurs at the belt line and below. For some people, the pain extends into the groin and backs of thighs. As Marilyn experienced, the pain can be “excruciating.”
For prompt relief of her back and leg pain, Dr. Daitch administered injections. While these restored comfort and mobility, periodic injections were needed so Marilyn could stay active in her position overseeing a sizable call center staff.
When Dr. Daitch mentioned a new treatment that could provide long-term relief, Marilyn was very interested. “I didn’t hesitate,” she shares. “There’s no one I trust the way I do Dr. Daitch. He’s easy to talk to and to deal with.”
The SI Fusion procedure can restore ease of movement by eliminating pain that emanates from the sacroiliac joint. It is minimally-invasive (essentially non-surgical) and only takes about 20 minutes of procedure time.
Significant improvement is experienced by most SI Fusion patients almost immediately. For others, full benefit of the procedure may take 2 to 3 months. However, SI Fusion patients should expect about 80 percent overall improvement of their sacroiliac pain after full recovery.
The procedure is performed in Park Center for Procedures, an accredited ambulatory surgical center. Patients are comfortably sedated in a twilight sleep state for treatment and return home after several hours of recovery.
Marilyn had several relatives on hand to help during recovery but found that “recovery seemed quick.” Although she had some initial limitations when bending or walking, Marilyn noticed improved mobility right away. “I was able to stand up straight and go up steps without pulling myself up by the rail,” she shares.
Within several weeks, Marilyn was walking a mile a day and laughing that her staff was saying they couldn’t keep up with her.
As she now looks forward to restarting plans for scuba diving certification, Marilyn remembers that, “Being in pain can become a way of life. It has an impact on every day.” Now, she sees life ahead with the promise of active, busy days – and hopefully, many underwater scuba adventures!
Dr. Daitch and Dr. Ivan Samcam, also of Advanced Pain Management & Spine Specialists, were among the first physicians in Southwest Florida to perform this advanced type of SI Fusion procedure.
To learn more about SI Fusion or other procedures to treat back pain, visit: www.APMSS.net or call us at 239-437-8000.