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Kerry's Story

Stockport, Cheshire
Back Story
Pregnancy Related
iFuse Implant Procedure Date
January 2016, left side
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In 1998, I took a bad fall and landed on my left hip. Immediately, I had excruciating pain in in my lower back area. I was seen by my General Practitioner who assumed my pain was because of loose ligaments in my pelvis. I had recently been pregnant and had delivered my daughter just two weeks prior to my fall. He prescribed strengthening exercises and narcotic pain medication. He assured me the pain would subside and set me on my way with no further follow-up. While the pain did eventually decrease, it never completely went away. I had pain when I sat for long periods of time and sleeping was difficult. I managed through the next 9 years with activity modification and over-the-counter pain medications.

While pregnant with my second child in 2008, I was getting into my car, and out of nowhere, I had onset of horrendous pain in my low back and right leg, with twitching of the buttock muscle. I knew something was terribly wrong. The pain so was bad, I had to crawl on my hands and knees back into the house. The paramedics came by ambulance to my house. They evaluated me and prescribed Tramadol, a non-narcotic pain reliever. They instructed me to move as much as I could tolerate. They did not make a definitive diagnosis as I was unable to have an MRI due to my pregnancy. I eventually lost feeling in my right leg and had to take a leave of absence from work. After the delivery of my son, the pain did diminish and there was improvement of the leg numbness, but the low back pain remained. I was sent for a lumbar MRI that confirmed an L4-L5 disc herniation and spondylosis (a kind of degenerative arthritis). I was offered surgery by my physician, but I wanted to try conservative treatment options first. At this point I couldn’t bend over to tie my shoes, pick up my son, or brush my teeth without having to hold on to the basin. I was prescribed all types of treatments including pain medication, epidural steroid injections, and physiotherapy to strengthen my back muscles. Nothing seemed to work. I couldn’t sleep properly because every time I turned in bed the pain would wake me, and exercising was impossible. Life was miserable. I was in constant pain and exhausted.

“Being able to sleep through the night is amazing!”

In 2015, I was referred to a different specialist who ordered another scan, but this time of my sacroiliac (SI) joint. It showed inflammation of the joint. He suggested we try an SI joint injection to help with my pain. I agreed to the injection and had immediate pain relief. It was like someone had flipped a switch. I was ecstatic! I had pain relief for 12 weeks. I had another injection in October 2015, with the same response and relief for another 12 weeks. While the injections did help with my pain, they were not a long-term solution. My specialist told me about a new procedure called iFuse, where they place titanium rods across the joint to stop the movement. I was so relieved, they had finally found the source of my pain and there was something they could do about it.

In January 2016, I had an SI joint fusion with the iFuse Implant System. As soon as I woke up, I could feel the difference. Although the muscles around the incision were sore, there was no pain from the joint and I could move more freely than before. I had the best night’s sleep in years and went home the next day. I used crutches for 6 weeks, did lots of physiotherapy and took it easy so my body could heal. I can now sit and sleep without pain. I have returned to working full-time and enjoy spending time with my family. I recently took up running and have lost 15 pounds from exercising. This surgery has changed my life!

The SI Buddy® program is reserved for patients who have been diagnosed by a trained surgeon and recommended for the iFuse procedure. SI Buddy volunteers have been successfully treated with the iFuse Implant System®. Although many patients have benefited from treatment with the iFuse Implant System, patients' results may vary. SI Buddies are not medical professionals and their statements should not be interpreted as medical advice.

The iFuse Implant System® is intended for sacroiliac joint fusion including use in high and low energy fractures of the pelvic ring.

There are potential risks associated with the iFuse Implant System. It may not be appropriate for all patients and all patients may not benefit. For information about the risks, talk to your doctor and visit: Risks page. Rx Only.

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