Your Healthy Family: Is your low back or leg pain from your SI j - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Your Healthy Family: Is your low back or leg pain from your SI joint?

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The SI joint is the largest in the human body The SI joint is the largest in the human body

Did you know the sacroiliac joint is also known as the SI joint?  Chances are unless you have dealt with the debilitating pain SI joint dysfunction can cause, or you have studied human anatomy you have never heard of the SI joint.  

Trisha Shannon is a Colorado Springs resident who lives an active healthy life these days, but that wasn't always the case.  Trisha clearly remembers when her problems began, “About fifteen years ago I was running on a treadmill and I just felt, it kind of felt like it popped out.  I went to the doctor and he could tell by the way I was walking that I had an SI joint issue.  The way I can describe it is if I leaned forward to brush my teeth it was a sharp shooting pain down my leg."

Trisha says the unpredictable pain had a huge impact on Trisha's life.  “It was a lot of suffering, a lot of feeling like I had to put my life on hold.  I was afraid to do some things because I never knew when it was going to do act up.  I could be doing the simplest movement, like making the bed or picking something up at the grocery store, and If it struck I was in so much pain I had to be taken out in a wheelchair."

Dr. Paul Stanton is a board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon with Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group located on the north campus of UCHealth Memorial.  Dr. Stanton says SI joint pain can be tricky to diagnose.  "The SI joint is the joint the unites the spine and the pelvis.  You have two of them a left in a right and the SI joint can be a source of arthritic pain.  Most patients that have SI joint pain complain of pain focally around the outside of the joint, but they can also have some radiating pain down the leg.  There are many things that can cause pain in that area of the body and sometimes it can be difficult to unwind what the pain generator is.  When the SI joint is identified as that pain generator that really streamlines the treatment process."

These days Trisha's SI joint pain is nothing but a memory, thanks to a new procedure called iFuse.  But Trisha’s journey from onset to relief took more than 10 years.  Dr. Stanton says not everyone who suffers SI joint pain requires surgery.

“Many patients with SI joint pain can be successfully treated with chiropractic care, osteopathic manipulation, physical therapy, injections or radiofrequency ablations which are pain procedures.  A small subset of patients will require surgery to help alleviate that pain on a more permanent basis."

Coming up in a future Your Healthy Family story, we'll learn more about the iFuse procedure and go in the operating room with Dr. Stanton to see the procedure first hand. Also we’ll tell you how Trisha's procedure dramatically and quickly changed her quality of life.

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