SI Joint Disruption / Degenerative Sacroiliitis
Low back pain is a common complaint of millions of people and the pain
may linger for months or even years. For decades, the sacroiliac joint
(or SI Joint) was suspected to be a common cause of low back or leg pain
however the standard diagnostic tests of the time left doctors skeptical.
Over the last twenty to thirty years, much of the medical profession has
discogenic pain caused from herniated discs and degenerative disc disease as the
common cause for low back or leg pain. Still to this day SI Joint conditions
may still be overlooked as very few healthcare professionals are trained
to identify the specific symptoms that indicate SI Joint Disruption /
The SI joints are formed by the connection of the sacrum and the right
and left iliac bones (the two large bones that make up the pelvis). The
SI joints connect the spine to the pelvis. While most of the bones of
the spine are mobile, the sacrum is made up of five vertebrae that are
fused together and do not move. The sacrum and the iliac bones are held
together by a collection of strong ligaments. There is very little motion
at the SI joints.
One of the most common causes of SI joint conditions is degenerative arthritis.
Like other joints in the body, the SI joints have a layer of cartilage
covering the bone. This allows for some movements and acts as a shock
absorber between bones. Then the cartilage becomes damages or worn away
the bones begin to rub against each other. When bones rub against each other,
degenerative arthritis occurs.
Another common cause of SI Joint Degeneration is pregnancy. This is believed
to be because of the possible changes in posture, weight and walking pattern
as well as the relaxation of ligaments holding the SI joints together
in preparation for childbirth.
Any condition that may alter a normal walking pattern may cause SI Joint
dysfunction (such as having uneven leg length, injuries to the legs or
feet that may cause a permanent limp or altered gait).
The most common symptom of SI joint Degeneration or Degenerative Sacroiliitis
is pain. Most people experience lower back pain or pain in the back of
the hips. However pain may also be present in the groin or the thighs.
Most patients say that pain is typically worse when standing or walking
and improves when they lie down. Patients may also experience stiffness
and a burning sensation in the pelvis due to inflammation and arthritis
in the SI joint.
Because SI Joint conditions can be difficult to diagnose as the symptoms
may mimic other common conditions and does not usually show up on X-rays,
MRIs, or CT scans, a specially trained expert in the field such as our
experts at SCCNS must perform a physical examination to evaluate the SI
Joints and how they are functioning in relation to the rest of the body.
**SCCNS in conjunction with SI-Bone is now conducting a study using the
FDA approved iFuse Implant System. Please call Nichole Martinez at SCCNS
to see if you are a potential study candidate. For more inform you can
also visit www.si-bone.com or www.clinicaltrials.gov