Unless you’re into studying human joints, it’s unlikely you’ve heard of the sacroiliac joints. They definitely aren’t as glamorous as the knees, shoulders, or other more well-known joints of the human body.
But the two sacroiliac joints can be a source of chronic pain. That’s why we’ve added a new approach at Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic to treating sacroiliac pain — the CornerLoc™ SI Joint Stabilization System. Dr. Trujillo uses this minimally invasive surgical option to create stabilization and fusion in the SI joint.
Let’s get into this in February’s two almost spring blogs.
What is the sacroiliac joint?
First, let’s get into this unknown joint, the sacroiliac joint. The sacroiliac joint connects the sacrum to the pelvis. The sacrum is a triangular bone at the bottom of the spine, below the lumbar region of the spine and above the tailbone. It consists of five fused vertebral segments. These segments move during our childhood, but fuse in early adulthood. The sacrum is connected to the pelvic bone, also known as the iliac crest, on the right and left sides at the sacroiliac joints. These joints act as shock-absorbing structures and typically only move a small amount.
What is sacroiliac joint dysfunction?
When a person develops pain in these two joints, this is known as sacroiliac joint dysfunction. This usually occurs when the joint moves too much or too little. Hypermobility (too much movement) can be caused by injury to the ligaments in the joint or pregnancy. Hypomobility (too little movement) can be caused by degenerative joint diseases such as arthritis.
When the sacroiliac joints overcompensate for problems in nearby joints, they may become painful. Lumbar spinal fusion patients can develop pain in the sacroiliac joint due to reduced mobility in their lumbar spine segments.
Sacroiliac joint pain usually shows itself as pain in the lower back or buttocks, but it can spread to surrounding muscles that may spasm in response to joint dysfunction.
How has sacroiliac joint dysfunction typically been treated?
Treatments for sacroiliac joint dysfunction have focused on alleviating the pain and restoring normal motion in the joint. A combination of rest, applying ice and/or heat, physical therapy and manual manipulation, and various pain medications have been the usual approaches. Some patients benefit from a pelvic brace when the joint is inflamed and painful.
In these methods don’t improve the patient’s pain, the last option has usually been injection of corticosteroid in combination with local anesthetic into the sacroiliac joint. This reduces the inflammation and reduces pain.
While these treatments with Dr. Trujillo are usually successful, in some patients their sacroiliac joint becomes a source of chronic pain. For these patients, our new CornerLoc treatment could be a great solution. In February’s second blog, we’ll get into this new approach to sacroiliac joint pain.
Until then, if you’re dealing with chronic pain, please give us a call at Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic Associates, (855) 768-4968, to make an appointment to see Dr. Trujillo.