Sacroilliac Joint Dysfunction/Pain

What you need to know

The sacroiliac joint connects the end of the spine to the pelvis. It is located in the posterior region of the pelvis and helps stabilize the lower end of the sacrum which is the pillar of the spine. Ligaments cover the joint, which help stabilize the joint. The ligaments may be disrupted from injury or degenerate with age, allowing the joint to have excessive motion which can disrupt the joint and surrounding nerves. As it degenerates, the cartilage within the joint wears away and nerve endings in the joints can become inflamed to cause pain in the lower back region. Up to 30% of all chronic low back pain is due to SI joint dysfunction. Patients usually complain of pain getting in and out of a seated position and changing positions. The patients can also complain of pain shooting down the leg, from the arthritis irritating the sciatic nerve.

Causes of sacroiliac joint pain can be traumatic, biomechanical (prior lumbar fusion), hormonal (pregnancy), inflammatory (sacroiliitis), and degenerative.

Despite performing a physical examination to reproduce the painful symptoms, a fluoroscopically guided injection into the joint that decreases the pain significantly confirms the diagnosis. Imaging studies such as x-rays, CT scans and MRI’s can also be utilized to demonstrate the degeneration of the joint.

Conservative treatment with physical therapy, non-steroidal medications and pelvic belts can be used. If all conservative treatment has been exhausted, surgery can be the next best step, which consists of a minimally invasive fusion.

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Minimally Invasive Fusion

During this procedure, the surgeon makes small incisions from behind, and drills holes in the sacrum and the ilium, inserting implants to stabilize the joint and fuse the bones together.

Patrick J. Horan, MD, MBA, FACS

Patrick J. Horan is an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist with two decades of experience. He is board-certified in orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Duke University in Durham, N.C., Dr. Horan earned his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. Residency and Internship were both completed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He also received an MBA from Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.

Dr. Horan served 10 years on active duty in the US Army as an orthopaedic surgeon before entering into private practice. Dr. Horan is the founder of the Westchase Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation and the official surgeon of the Tampa Bay Rowdies. He maintains professional memberships with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Sports Medicine and the Arthroscopy Association of North America.

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Dr. Patrick Horan and the other orthopedic surgeons and specialists at Westchase Orthopedics & Rehabilitation have served hundreds of patients in the Tampa Bay area. Our patients choose us because we are able to offer them viable solutions to their pain. We offer hope to patients who have been athletes for years and suddenly find themselves faced with the possibility of never playing again, to elderly patients who want to maintain their independence and do things like drive and grocery shop alone, to parents who aren’t sure what is wrong with their children’s knees or elbows and want answers. Unlike in many other practices, you are not treated like just a number; we take the time to listen to your concerns and symptoms, accurately diagnose the source of the problem, and walk you through what will happen during the course of treatment. Get in touch with our office today to schedule an appointment!

Testimonials

Dr Horan has done a few of my knee surgeries and has always been the best surgeon. Dr Lao has been my physical therapist for every knee surgery and his results are proven and outstanding. I’d be in bad shape if it wasn’t for dr Lao and his staff who go above and beyond to do what’s needed.

Testimonials

Dr. Lao is simply the best! His intense educational training and specialty of the spine are something that you seldom come across these days. When I lived in Bradenton for 9 months I would drive over an hour just to see him because he was the only one I trusted with my physical issues. His assistant Sam is wonderful and Lisa at the front desk is always very helpful! There is another PT there that I have not treated with, but I only hear great things about him! 🙂 I will not go anywhere else.

Testimonials

This review encompasses both Dr Horan's orthopaedic side of the business & Dr Lao's physical therapy side. I have no idea if their practices are actually related, but there's only one street sign & only one Yelp check-in. Luckily, I think both doctors are excellent.

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