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Back Problems Message Board


Back Problems Board Index


Welcome to the board. I am a fellow sufferer of lower lumbar issues and did a lot of research on si joint dysfunction and fusion after my first lumbar surgery when I still had lots of leg pain. I read through your post several times before answering because there is no obvious answer. Your pain "might" be coming from your SI joints, but it could just as easily be from the transitional vertebra or perhaps you have developed "adjacent disc disease" at L5-S1 since the fusion surgery.

Without a lot of further testing, it is hard to say...and even then, the tests can be wrong or misleading/inconclusive. SI joint issues can be very hard to differentiate from lower back issues.

We spent a good two years trying to figure out what at L5-S1 was causing my chronic pain. I visited many spine surgeons and other specialists looking for answers. Eventually, during surgery, they discovered it was coming from L3-4 facet joints which had almost completely degenerated into little nubs. This had not been seen on multiple MRIs. After I was fused from L3 to S1, we thought I had SI joint dysfunction...I was considering fusion, prolotherapy or PRP injections to stabilize the SI joints...but, after about a year, as I got stronger, and those issues resolved with weekly acupuncture and bodywork.

It might be best to start ruling things out. Have you seen a spine surgeon lately for a new MRI and evaluation, particularly of the L5-S1 and sacral area? This would show if you have had further deterioration of that segment in the years since your fusion.

You might also look for a practicioner who is knowledgeable about spinal mechanics, focal adhesions and fascia.
Sometimes, if you are lucky enough to find the right person, this practicioner can be more valuable than a doctor in figuring out what is causing pain.

Good luck to you.





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