What is Sacroiliac Joint Fusion?

The sacroiliac joints connect the pelvis and lower spine and are composed of the sacrum, the bony structure above the tailbone and below the lower vertebrae, and the ilium, the upper part of the pelvis. There are sacroiliac joints on both the right and left sides of the lower back.

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction or inflammation (sacroiliitis) can cause pain and instability, which can be effectively reduced through joint fusion. Most cases of sacroiliac joint pain can be managed with pain medication, injection treatments, chiropractic manipulation, physical therapy, and surgery is usually not required. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction can cause significant lower back pain, as well as pelvic, groin, and hip pain. It can result from excessive or insufficient motion, or inflammation of the joint.

During sacroiliac joint fusion, one or both sides of the sacrum are grafted to the ilium to promote bone growth across the joint. Fusion occurs as part of the healing process after surgery, using implanted instrumentation and/or a bone graft. Minimally-invasive surgery through a small incision in the buttock is the most common method of sacroiliac joint fusion, as open surgery has extensive healing processes and higher complication rates.

Am I a Candidate for Sacroiliac Joint Fusion?

Your provider may recommend this treatment if you are experiencing low back or buttock pain or suffering from sacroiliitis.