SSM Health Medical Minute – New treatment for pain in the SI joint

Dysfunction in the sacroiliac joint, or SI joint, is thought to cause low back and/or leg pain. The leg pain can be particularly difficult, and may feel similar to sciatica or pain caused by a lumbar disc herniation. While it is not clear how the pain is caused, it is thought that an alteration in the normal joint motion may be the culprit that causes sacroiliac pain. SI joints usually become painful due to abnormal movement within the joint. There can be either too much movement, called a hypermobile SI joint, or too little movement, called a restricted SI joint. Accurately diagnosing SI joint dysfunction can be difficult because the symptoms mimic other common conditions and it can be difficult to treat.

Neurosurgeon Dr. Daniel Scodary from SSM Health DePaul Hospital, is one of a handful of surgeons in the area who performs an SI stabilization procedure that can be utilized after more conservative measures fail. The fusion surgery in the SI where the spine joins the hip is proving very successful. “I recently had a lady who had this problem for 40 years, had the fusion done and within a week didn’t have her pain anymore.”

The new procedure is minimally invasive. About a one inch incision is made in the side of the hip and screw like devices called cages are implemented. “Using those wires as guides cages and screws are put across this joint and the cage are filled with bone graft and over time will fuse and stabilize that joint.”

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The SSM Health Medical Minute airs every Thursday at 7 PM on KPLR News 11 and at 9 PM on KTVI Fox 2 News.​