What is Sacroiliitis?
The sacroiliac (SI) joints are shock-absorbing, weight-bearing joints that connect the spine to the pelvis. Sacroiliitis is a condition occuring when the SI joints become irritated and inflamed due to injury, overuse, or aging.
- Traumatic injury. A sudden impact, such as a motor vehicle accident or a fall, can damage your sacroiliac joints.
- Arthritis. Wear-and-tear arthritis (osteoarthritis) can occur in sacroiliac joints, as can ankylosing spondylitis — a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects the spine.
- Pregnancy. The sacroiliac joints must loosen and stretch to accommodate childbirth. The added weight and altered gait during pregnancy can cause additional stress on these joints and can lead to abnormal wear.
- Infection. In rare cases, the sacroiliac joint can become infected.
Symptoms may include:
Sacroiliitis symptoms are experienced in the buttocks, groin, lower back, and/or lower extremities and include:
- Pain in the lower back or hips
- Difficulty standing
When diagnosing sacroiliitis, The OPA Spine Team:
- Obtain the patient’s medical history
- Perform a physical examination
- Orders and analyze X-rays
Once an official diagnosis is made, a customized treatment plan is prescribed. Treatment plans decrease your symptoms to help you live an active lifestyle.
Nonsurgical treatment options treat the majority of cases of sacroiliitis. The following may be included in a customized treatment plan:
Our skilled team of Spine Specialists will utilize conservative methods which include:
Medications to reduce pain and relax the muscles.
One of OPA’s onsite physical therapist prescribes and monitors strengthening and stretching exercises.
If nonsurgical treatment options have not adequately reduced pain and symptoms, a minimally invasive surgical procedure, known as a Sacroiliac Joint Fusion may be used to treat sacroiliitis. During this procedure, arthritic cartilage and bone are removed and replaced with bone graft. A small plate and screws fixate adjacent bones to one another so the bone can fuse to form a single, solid bone. After recovery, pain and other symptoms no longer occur.
One of OPA’s onsite physical therapists works with the patient to stretch and strengthen spine muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Minimally invasive treatment options may be used to treat some cases of sacroiliitis:
- Injections. Corticosteroid and anesthetic medications are injected into the joint to quickly decrease pain.
- Rhizotomy. Heat and radio frequency energy deaden nerves that send pain signals to the brain.
- Pain Stimulator. A pain stimulator delivers electric signals to nerves to stop pain signals to the brain.
Our Spine Team
The OPA team includes Alaska’s leading spine specialists and offers some of the latest, most advanced sacroiliitis treatment procedures available today.
OPA treats a wide variety of back, neck, and spine conditions and offers comprehensive treatment options — including many non-surgical solutions.
All treatments work to restore pain-free spine function that allows patients to lead active, fulfilling lives, be it walking pain-free or getting back into athletic action.