Your Healthy Family: Go inside an iFuse SI joint fusion surgery - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Your Healthy Family: Go inside an iFuse SI joint fusion surgery

iFuse is a newer revolutionary procedure that's minimally invasive iFuse is a newer revolutionary procedure that's minimally invasive

Following up for you on our story of Trisha Shannon and the struggles she faced dealing with debilitating pain in her sacroiliac joint, http://www.koaa.com/story/36270190/your-healthy-family-is-your-low-back-or-leg-pain-from-your-si-joint in this story we go into the operating room to get a first hand look at the iFuse procedure.  

When Trisha’s chiropractor recommended she look into the iFuse procedure, she eventually found her way to Dr. Paul Stanton, a board certified orthopedic spine surgeon with Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group.  Dr. Stanton recognized Trisha was an ideal candidate for this newer and minimally invasive procedure.  

Dr. Stanton explains that traditional SI joint fusion surgery is no picnic.  “The history of SI treatment has been difficult from a surgical perspective.  Previous treatments were pretty large and barbaric, and required a lot of surgical dissection and a long recovery time.  iFuse is a newer revolutionary procedure that's minimally invasive allows us to address SI joint arthritis and pain without the morbidity associated with traditional open surgical procedures.”

Dr. Stanton invited us into the operating room at UCHealth Memorial North in Colorado Springs in late August to see an iFuse procedure.  Once the patient was on the table and ready for surgery, it took about 15 minutes for Dr. Stanton and his team to complete the procedure.

Dr. Stanton explains, “The procedure is done through a small 2 to 3 centimeter incision on the side of the hip or the buttock area.  Using fluoroscopic or x-ray guidance in surgery we can place the implants without a large dissection.  There are 3 triangle shaped implants.  The outside of the implants has little nooks and crannies, kind of like an english muffin.  Once implanted, bone is able to grow into those nooks crannies and stabilize the implant and that's what achieves the stability of the joint.  iFuse is pretty robust and once those implants are planted in bone, it's pretty difficult to disrupt that.”

Trisha Shannon had her iFuse surgery about 3 years ago and remembers quickly feeling better a few days after surgery.  “I think he (Dr. Stanton) said I'd be on crutches for a few weeks, maybe 6 weeks.  I want to say within a week I was done with the crutches.  Dr. Stanton told me that if I felt like I could put full weight on it I could.  It was very, very quick and I was feeling great and I have never had anything even close to that kind of pain since I've had the surgery.”

Trisha has returned to an active lifestyle and says she doesn’t take days without pain for granted.  “All the things that I was afraid to do, I can do again.  Hiking and biking and working out of the gym, and just everyday living.  I never have that kind of worry in the back of my mind I use to like ‘what if I get stuck here’, it's just completely gone.  It's literally given me my life back.”

If you have any questions about SI joint pain or the iFuse procedure you can reach out to the doctors with Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group, or any orthopedic spine surgeon who's been trained on the iFuse procedure.

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