If left untreated, SI joint pain can result in reduced quality of life and an inability to perform normal functions, such as cleaning the house, caring for children, shopping or visiting with friends. When lower back pain caused by SI joint dysfunction is severe, surgery may be the most effective option to relive the pain. Typically, there are three types of surgery used to reduce pain from SI joints.

  • Fusion. SI joint fusion is a minimally-invasive option. During this procedure, the SI joint is stabilized with the addition of a bone graft, which manages the source of the pain.
  • Facet resurfacing. Instead of fusing bone, SI joint facet resurfacing is a simple surgery that enhances movement of the SI joint. As a result, pain is often minimized.
  • Disk replacement. Though more complex than SI fusion or facet resurfacing, disk replacement is being studied in the treatment of lower back pain. Specifically, lumbar discs are replaced, which can help ease pressure on the SI joint, thereby reducing pain.

Opting for surgery to reduce back pain should be approached with care and planning. Because surgery is not a viable option for some individuals, discussing your options with a trusted medical specialist is vital.