SI Bone Fusion

Surgical Spine Associates

Eugene A Bonaroti, MD, FACS

Board Certified Neurological Spine Surgeon located in Warrendale, PA & Fox Chapel, Pittsburgh, PA

Lower Body Pain? It May Be Your SI Joint.

The SI joint, or sacroiliac joint, can be a significant cause of lower back pain that affects other areas. Clinical publications have identified the SI joint as a pain generator in 15-30% of chronic lower back pain patients.1-4 In addition, the SI joint is a pain generator in up to 43% of patients with continued or new onset lower back pain after a lumbar fusion.5

Debilitating SI joint pain may not have to be permanent, though. While other treatment options may only provide short-term results, at Surgical Spine Associates, Dr. Eugene Bonaroti, MD offers minimally invasive SI Joint surgery for life-changing results.

Lower Body Pain? It May Be Your SI Joint.

Common Symptoms of SI Joint Pain

It’s common for pain from the SI joint to feel like disc or lower back pain, or sometimes hip or groin pain. For this reason, SI joint disorders should always be considered in lower back, hip and pelvic pain diagnosis. Symptoms can include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Pelvis/buttock pain
  • Hip/groin pain.
  • Sensation from your hips to your toes, including pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness.
  • Feeling of leg instability (e.g., buckling, giving way)
  • Disturbed sleep patterns due to pain
  • Disturbed sitting patterns (e.g., unable to sit for long periods, sitting on one side)
  • Pain going from sitting to standing.

Common Symptoms of SI Joint Pain

Making a Diagnosis

A variety of tests performed during physical examination may help reveal the SI joint as the cause of your symptoms. Sometimes, X-rays, a CT-scan, or MRI may be helpful in the diagnosis of SI joint-related problems. This is because they can rule out other common sources of pain—such as your lumbar spine or hip joints. It is also important to remember that other conditions (like a disc problem) can co-exist with SI joint disorders.

The most relied upon method to accurately determine whether the SI joint is the cause of your lower back pain symptoms is to inject the SI joint with a local anesthetic. This diagnostic injection will be performed under either X-ray or CT guidance to verify accurate placement of the needle in the SI joint. If your symptoms decrease by at least 50%, it can be concluded that the SI joint is either the source of or a major contributor to your lower back, hip, or pelvic pain. If the level of pain does not change after SI joint injection, it is less likely that the SI joint is the cause of your pain.

Treatment Options

Once the SI joint is confirmed as the cause of your symptoms, treatment can begin. Some patients respond well to physical therapy, use of oral medications, or injection therapy. These treatments are often performed repetitively, and often, symptom improvement using these therapies is temporary. If non-surgical treatment options have been tried and do not provide long-term relief, your surgeon may consider other options, including the minimally invasive iFuse procedure.

SI Joint Fusion with the iFuse Implant System®

The iFuse Implant System is designed to stabilize and fuse the SI joint. The iFuse procedure involves inserting typically three triangular-shaped titanium implants across the sacroiliac joint to maximize SI joint stability, reduce pain, and improve function. The procedure is done through a small one-inch incision and takes about an hour. SI joint treatment using the patented triangular design of the iFuse implant has been clinically evaluated more than any other SI joint fusion procedure. *

More than 100 peer-reviewed publications demonstrate the safety, durable effectiveness, and biomechanical and economic benefits of the iFuse implant ( However, as with any minimally invasive surgical procedures, there are potential risks associated with the iFuse Implant System. For information about the risks, visit

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