Minimally invasive surgery, performed on one or both SI joints, usually takes less than 1 hour. Patients are able to go home or to a local hotel within hours of surgery.
The first 48-72 hours are the most uncomfortable, as muscle and soft tissue swelling can cause pain. Using ice packs on the incision and surgical site reduces swelling and significantly lowers pain.
Most patients can take a shower and wash their incision 24 hours after surgery.
It takes 1 to 2 weeks for the incision to heal, and 2 to 6 weeks for most of the surgical pain to resolve. During this 2 to 6 week period, most patients notice that their original SI pain is substantially better. Most pain has resolved by 6 to 12 weeks
The risks of surgery in our series of more that 600 patients is less than 1%.
Published risks include, but are not limited to, infection, bleeding, implant migration, nonunion, new pain, vascular injury, nerve injury, bony fractures, allergic reactions to medications, and anesthetic complications.
Immediately after surgery patients are encouraged to let their post-operative pain limit their activities. Once the surgical pain has resolved, patients can participate in any activities as tolerated.
We do not recommend weight bearing restrictions or encourage the use of crutches, braces, or wheelchairs.
Assuming that the joint heals properly and the SI fusion is solid, the surgery should not wear out or need to be revised or reinforced. It should be a permanent solution for the SI joint and pain.
Revision surgery is only performed in cases where the joint has not fused, the implants fail or migrate, or complication results due to the implant’s positioning.