This version of Internet Explorer is no longer supported.

To get the best possible experience using our website we recommend that you upgrade to a newer version or other web browser. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found here.

Sacro-Iliac Joint Fusion

Some researchers estimate that 25 percent of cases of low back pain may be linked to the sacrum and it’s sacro-iliac joints (SI joints). In particular, the SI Joint is believed to be one of the main causes of Axial Low Back Pain, that is, pain that is limited to the low back, and does not usually involve radiating pain or numbness into a leg.

The SI joint is located at the bottom of spine between the sacrum and the ilium of the pelvis, which are connected by ligaments. The sacrum supports the spine and acts as a shock absorber, cushioning the weight of the body onto the legs.

When a person feels a pain in their low back when they stand up from a chair and place weight on a specific leg, it could be caused by the SI Joint. SI joint pain can be caused by falling down, or from repetitive movement, such as with long distance runners. Arthritis can also be a cause problems with an SI joint.

If spine surgery is needed for sacroiliac joint pain, the surgeons at Kenai Spine use the Medtronic Rialto SI Joint instrumentation to create a SI Joint Fusion to stabilize the SI joint and relieve the symptoms of SI joint pain and low back pain.

An SI joint fusion is performed through a small incision about an inch long by the side of patient’s buttock. During the procedure, fluoroscopy provides the surgeon with live imaging. Typically two cylindrical threaded implants are inserted, depending on the patients body size.

The key benefits of the Rialto system is that it is less invasive than traditional SI joint surgery. The system uses a much small incision size and no bone grafting is needed as in traditional SI fusion.

Do you have SI Joint pain?

Symptoms of SI Joint pain include:

  • Low back pain that is triggered when you stand up from a chair
  • Uncomfortable sitting, unable to sit for long periods
  • Interrupted sleep due to low back pain
  • Hip or groin pain.
  • Feeling of leg instability

You may be a candidate for surgery if you have exhausted other non-surgical treatment options for axial low back pain, including options like physical therapy, chiropractic, medications, or spinal injections for at least 6 months.

Patient Success Stories
event one
event one
Bob

Surgery repairs damaged disc and returns outdoorsman to activity.

event one
event one

Paramedic gets back to life with Kenai Spine.

event one
event one

Healthcare CEO back on the job after pain relieving spine surgery.

event one
event one

School administrator recovers from back pain without surgery.

event one
event one

Dog sled champion back on the trails after non-surgical treatment.

Educational Resources
Medical Animations

Watch various medical animations to learn about conditions and treatment options.

recent post

View medical illustrations that help you understand pain symptoms.

recent post

Learn about special exercises and stretches that can relieve pain and help rehab muscles and joints.

recent post

Learn about minimally invasive surgery techniques that enable patients to go home the same day.

Where to find us

Kenai Spine is the only spine center in the State of Alaska to be included in Spine Center Network, an exclusive national listing of spine centers of excellence that meet credentialing criteria related to fellowship-trained spine surgeons; non-surgical Mayo Clinic-trained MD physical medicine specialist for back and neck pain; and affiliated spine therapists. With an office on the Kenai Peninsula, and two offices in Anchorage, Kenai Spine provides great convenience to those with back pain or neck pain problems who live around Anchorage, including Wasilla, Palmer, Eagle River and the Mat-Su Valley. Click here for directions to our Anchorage offices or our main office in Soldotna on the Kenai Peninsula.

Physician Bios
Medical Animations

S. Craig Humphreys, MD
Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon
Fellowship-Trained Spine Surgeon

recent post

John L. Andreshak, MD
Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon
Fellowship-Trained Spine Surgeon

recent post

Mark Simonson, MD
Board Certified in PM&R
Board Certified in Pain Medicine