The SI Joint: An Unrecognized Source of Low Back Pain

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Published on January 04, 2016

The SI Joint: An Unrecognized Cause of Low Back Pain

By: Clay Frank, MD

SI Joint WomanDo you or someone you know have low back pain that has been difficult to diagnose? Have you had great care from your physician, yet still have low back pain?

An under-diagnosed and under-recognized cause of low back pain in middle-aged adults is the sacroiliac (SI) joint. The SI joint is located below the beltline, two finger widths off your midline – near that small dimple in the lower back. Pain may be aggravated by sitting, stair climbing and sleeping on the affected side.

"The SI joint was first recognized as a pain generator over 100 years ago," says Clay Frank, MD, Spine Specialist and Orthopedic Surgeon. "Although many spine care providers are familiar with the signs and symptoms of SI joint pain, the absence of a definitive treatment for this condition left SI joint pain patients with nowhere to turn."

New Treatment Option

Four years ago, a minimally invasive surgery became available to treat chronic SI joint pain. Appropriate candidates are those for whom
chiropractic care, physical therapy, injections and medications are not effective.

Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital and Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Services have been a part of a multi-center, groundbreaking
clinical research trial in which patients with chronic SI joint pain are offered the 30-minute minimally invasive surgery. A four- to six-week recovery period follows.

"Preliminary research results indicate that patients who had SI joint pain for more than one year had an 80 percent success rate with this surgical
treatment, compared to a 20 percent success rate with additional trials of the nonsurgical treatments they already had," says Dr. Frank.

Both Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital and Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Services are proud to be part of the groundbreaking clinical research. "It has led to a marked improvement in quality of life and function
for chronic SI joint pain sufferers," says Dr. Frank.

If your back pain is still undiagnosed or you have been told that your MRI is "normal," consider talking with one of our spine care professionals. We may determine that your SI joint is causing the low back pain that other qualified spine care professionals may have overlooked.