About Sacroiliitis

What is it and what are your treatment options?
Anchorage: (907)562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267
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What is Sacroiliitis?

The sacroiliac (SI) joints are shock-absorbing, weight-bearing joints that connect the spine to the pelvis. Sacroiliitis is a condition occuring when the SI joints become irritated and inflamed due to injury, overuse, or aging.

Common Symptoms:

Sacroiliitis symptoms are experienced in the buttocks, groin, lower back, and/or lower extremities and include:

  • Pain in the lower back or hips
  • Stiffness
  • Difficulty standing

Common Causes of Sacroiliitis:

  • Traumatic injury. A sudden impact, such as a motor vehicle accident or a fall, can damage your sacroiliac joints.
  • Arthritis. Wear-and-tear arthritis (osteoarthritis) can occur in sacroiliac joints, as can ankylosing spondylitis — a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects the spine.
  • Pregnancy. The sacroiliac joints must loosen and stretch to accommodate childbirth. The added weight and altered gait during pregnancy can cause additional stress on these joints and can lead to abnormal wear.
  • Infection. In rare cases, the sacroiliac joint can become infected.

When diagnosing sacroiliitis, OPA Spine Team Specialists:

  • Obtain the patient’s medical history
  • Perform a physical examination
  • Orders and analyze X-rays

After an accurate diagnosis is made, a customized treatment plan is prescribed.

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options treat the majority of cases of sacroiliitis. The following may be included in a customized treatment plan:

Anti-inflammatory and pain medications

Medications to decrease inflammation, pain and relax the muscles.

Physical Therapy

One of OPA’s onsite physical therapists works with the patient to stretch and strengthen spine muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Minimally invasive treatment options may be used to treat some cases of sacroiliitis:

  • Injections. Corticosteroid and anesthetic medications are injected into the joint to quickly decrease pain.
  • Rhizotomy. Heat and radio frequency energy deaden nerves that send pain signals to the brain.
  • Pain Stimulator. A pain stimulator delivers electric signals to nerves to stop pain signals to the brain.

If nonsurgical treatment options have not adequately reduced pain and symptoms, a minimally invasive surgical procedure, known as a Sacroiliac Joint Fusion may be used to treat sacroiliitis. During this procedure, arthritic cartilage and bone are removed and replaced with bone graft. A small plate and screws fixate adjacent bones to one another so the bone can fuse to form a single, solid bone. After recovery, pain and other symptoms no longer occur.

At OPA, our Board-Certified and Fellowship-Trained Spine Specialists, Dr. Mark Flanum, Dr. James Eule, and Dr. Curtis Mina are experts in treating sacroiliitis.

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment to see one of our Spine Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla.

Schedule An Appointment

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla, AK.

Anchorage: (907)562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267

OPA Spine Team

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Dr. James Eule

Orthopedic Spine Specialist

Dr. Mark Flanum

Orthopedic Spine Specialist

Dr. Curtis Mina

Orthopedic Spine Specialist

Sean Taylor, MD

Pain Management

Our Mission

To provide the finest orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal care in North America, offering general and specialized adult care to all Alaskans and visitors.

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