JOURNAL ARTICLE

Outcome of distraction interference arthrodesis of the sacroiliac joint for sacroiliac arthritis

Stefan Endres, Esther Ludwig
Indian Journal of Orthopaedics 2013, 47 (5): 437-42
24133301

BACKGROUND: After lumbar or lumbosacral fusion for various spine disorders, adjacent segment disease has been reported. Most of the studies have focused on proximal segment disease. The author has reported sacroiliac joint degeneration in these patients. Based on our own experiences with an increasing number of patients with sacroiliac joint (SIJ) arthralgia after multi-level lumbar or lumbosacral fusion procedures, we evaluated a surgical procedure called distraction arthrodesis of the SIJ for patients with refractory severe pain of the SIJ.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Nineteen (19) consecutive patients were recruited and evaluated prospectively after undergoing distraction arthrodesis of the SIJ. The inclusion criteria for the surgical procedure were degeneration of the SIJ and failed conservative treatment. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and CT scans were performed in all cases. The clinical outcome was assessed using the Visual Analog Scale and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). CT scans were performed postoperatively and again at the final followup to evaluate assess fusion. The data was analyzed using the SPSS software (version 10.0; SPSS, Chicago, IL) and statistical analysis was performed. The P values were based on the Student t-test.

RESULTS: The mean followup was 13.2 months. All patients had an instrumented lumbar or lumbosacral fusion. The overall fusion rate of SIJ was 78.9% (15/19 joints). All patients demonstrated significant improvement in VAS and ODI scores compared to preoperative values. The mean VAS score was 8.5 before surgery and was 6 at final followup, demonstrating 30% improvement. The mean ODI scores were 64.1 before surgery and 56.97 at the final followup, demonstrating 12% improvement.

CONCLUSIONS: Refractory sacroiliac pain as a result of multi-level fusion surgery can be successfully treated with minimally invasive arthrodesis. It offers a safe and effective treatment for severe SIJ pain. Careful patient selection is important.

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