Jose E. Valerio, M.D.
Neurosurgeon & Brain Tumor Specialist located in South Miami, FL & Hialeah, FL, & Weston, FL
The sacroiliac (SI) joint forms the connection between your spine and hips. Though it has limited mobility, an SI joint that’s damaged or dysfunctional may cause chronic back or hip pain. Jose Valerio, MD, is a fellowship-trained spine surgeon who performs SI joint fusion procedures to ease pain. To schedule a surgical consultation, call his office in South Miami, Hialeah, or Weston, Florida, or book an appointment online today.
SI Joint Fusion Q& A
What is the SI joint?
Your sacroiliac (SI) joint connects the sacrum in your spine and the ilium in your hip. This joint helps keep your body stable and acts as a shock absorber when you walk or run.
Strong, tight ligaments hold together the bones that make up your SI joint, allowing for slight movement. Cartilage separates and cushions the bones.
Though not the most movable joint in your body, your SI joint is susceptible to injury and degenerative changes that cause pain. People with SI joint problems, known as SI joint dysfunction, experience pain in their lower back or hip.
What is SI joint fusion?
SI joint fusion is a surgical procedure for the treatment of SI joint dysfunction. During the procedure, Dr. Valerio uses a bone graft or other material to fuse the bones that make up your SI joint and stop painful movement.
He performs the procedure using minimally invasive tools and techniques to reduce post-surgical pain and recovery time.
Am I a candidate for SI joint fusion?
Dr. Valerio determines if you’re a candidate for SI joint fusion after a spine surgery consultation. You may be a candidate for SI joint fusion if you have SI joint dysfunction that causes disabling pain and no longer responds to noninvasive medical interventions.
Before recommending surgery, Dr. Valerio may have you undergo a diagnostic SI joint injection. During the procedure, you receive an injection of a local anesthetic and corticosteroid.
If your SI joint is the source of your pain, you should experience a significant decrease in symptoms following the injection.
What happens during SI joint fusion?
Dr. Valerio takes a thoughtful, patient-centered approach to care. He customizes your SI joint fusion procedure based on your diagnosis and medical history. He reviews the details during your pre-surgery visit so you know what to expect.
During the procedure, Dr. Valerio makes a small incision at the site of your SI joint. He places metal implants and bone grafting material to stabilize the joint and encourage bone growth to eliminate joint movement.
What happens after SI joint fusion?
Dr. Valerio provides specific instructions about care and activity following your SI joint fusion.
Though he uses minimally invasive tools and techniques for a faster recovery, he advises you to avoid weight-bearing activities for 4-6 weeks following the fusion to encourage healing and bone growth.
Though results vary, many patients experience a significant improvement in their SI joint dysfunction pain following the procedure.
To see if you’re a candidate for SI joint fusion, call the office of Jose Valerio MD or book an appointment online today.