In this month’s first blog, we got into the sacroiliac joint and problems that can lead to chronic pain. In this second blog, we’re going to detail a new treatment used by Dr. Trujillo to help patients get through this dysfunction in the sacroiliac joint, the CornerLoc™ SI Joint Stabilization System.
Dr. Trujillo uses this minimally invasive surgical option to create stabilization and fusion in the SI joint.
What is the SI joint?
As a quick refresher, the sacroiliac joint connects the sacrum at the base of the spine to the pelvis. The sacrum is the triangular bone at the bottom of the spine, and it connects with the pelvis through two joints on the right and left sides — the sacroiliac joints. These joints act as shock-absorbing structures and typically only move a small amount. When these joints move too much or too little, they can lead to serious pain. This is sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
What is the CornerLoc™ SI Joint Stabilization System?
The CornerLoc™ SI Joint Stabilization System gives us a new option for dealing with SI dysfunction. The CornerLoc™ system is designed to achieve optimal stabilization and fusion with only minimal invasiveness. After careful preparation of the sacroiliac joint, two CornerLoc™ allografts are placed orthogonally within the sacroiliac joint. These CornerLoc™ grafts create instant joint stability and an ideal environment for fusion.
How is the CornerLoc™ SI Joint Stabilization System placed?
Dr. Trujillo places the CornerLoc™ grafts through a posterior approach using two small incisions in the lower back. This provides simple and safe access to the sacroiliac joint. Through the two small incisions, Dr. Trujillo places the two CornerLoc™ allografts within the SI joint and this creates immediate stability. The grafts then begin fusing the two joints.
What is recovery like after CornerLoc™ joint stabilization surgery?
These are minimally invasive procedures. Patients are typically walking within hours of their procedure. For the first two weeks, you’ll need to keep your incisions dry and your dressings in place. You won’t drive during this period. After two weeks, you can return to work and perform light duties. For up to six weeks, you won’t lift anything over 10 pounds. There can be some inflammatory pain as your body responds to the allograft, but this isn’t acute pain and doesn’t typically require anything beyond over-the-counter pain medication.
It’s important for patients not to “push” their recovery in any way. You don’t want to squat, jump, or place stress on the sacroiliac joint for that first six weeks. If you are patient, after about 12 weeks you can return to most forms of exercise, such as running or playing tennis.
How successful has the CornerLoc™ SI Joint Stabilization System been?
The FDA approved the CornerLoc triangular titanium implant grafts for sacroiliac joint fusion in 2008. Studies since that approval have shown the system to be very successful in helping patients with sacroiliac joint dysfunction. In those studies, 8 out of 10 patients who have undergone the CornerLoc™ procedure have reported excellent pain relief and functional improvement without serious complications.
If you’re dealing with pain caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction, the CornerLoc system could be a great treatment approach. Call us at Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic, (855) 768-4968, and let’s see if this new treatment is right for your situation.