The function of the SI joints is to allow torsional or twisting movements when moving the legs that act as levers. Without the sacroiliac joints and the pubic symphysis at the front of the pelvis, which allow these precision movements, the pelvis would be at higher risk of a fracture. The sacroiliac joints transmit body weight and all the physical forces down through the sacrum to the hips and legs. Individuals, especially athletes with pain in the lower back, hip, groin, or leg, could be experiencing SIJ/sacroiliac joint dysfunction. A physician or surgeon could recommend sacroiliac joint surgery for severe SI joint dysfunction and pain that has not resolved with conservative treatment.
There are two sacroiliac joints. They connect the large iliac bones that make up the sides of the pelvis and the sacrum or triangle-shaped vertebrae between the iliac bones at the base of the spine. Pain in this area can come from sacroiliitis or inflammation of an SI joint, and referred pain may present. A doctor will consider causes such as:
There is a pathology of sacroiliac joint dysfunction in athletes. Sports that require repetitive and/or asymmetric loading that includes:
Any athlete can develop sacroiliac joint dysfunction, but the highest prevalence activities include:
Surgery is not for patients with less than six months of confirmed localized pain or impairment with other causes ruled out. Surgery is the last option for SI joint pain unless it is an emergency. Doctors and surgeons will recommend non-invasive treatment methods before recommending surgery. Surgery recommendations come when the pain has become intolerable, and the individual can no longer move or operate.
For most individuals, recovery time is around three weeks on crutches.
Conservative treatment modalities to reduce the inflammation can include:
Brolinson, P Gunnar, et al. “Sacroiliac joint dysfunction in athletes.” Current sports medicine reports vol. 2,1 (2003): 47-56. doi:10.1249/00149619-200302000-00009
Heil, Jessica. “Load-Induced Changes of Inter-Limb Asymmetries in Dynamic Postural Control in Healthy Subjects.” Frontiers in human neuroscience vol. 16 824730. 11 Mar. 2022, doi:10.3389/fnhum.2022.824730
International Journal of Spine Surgery. (2020*) “International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery Policy 2020 Update—Minimally Invasive Surgical Sacroiliac Joint Fusion (for Chronic Sacroiliac joint Pain): Coverage Indications, Limitations, and Medical Necessity.” doi.org/10.14444/7156
Peebles, Rebecca DO1; Jonas, Christopher E. DO, FAAFP2. Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction in the Athlete: Diagnosis and Management. Current Sports Medicine Reports: 9/10 2017 – Volume 16 – Issue 5 – p 336-342
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The information herein on "Sacroiliac Joint Surgery: Injury Medical Chiropractic Clinic" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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