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Sacroiliac joint pain after lumbar/lumbosacral fusion: current knowledge


Recently, the sacroiliac joint (SIJ) has gained increased attention as a source of persistent or new pain after lumbar/lumbosacral fusion. The underlying pathophysiology of SIJ pain may be increased mechanical load, iliac crest bone grafting, or a misdiagnosis of SIJ syndrome. Imaging studies show more frequent degeneration of the SIJ in patients with lumbar/lumbosacral fusion than in patients without such fusion. Using injection tests, it has been shown that SIJ pain is the cause of persistent symptoms in a considerable number of patients after fusion surgery. Recent articles reporting on surgical outcomes of SIJ fusion include a high percentage of patients who had lumbar/lumbosacral fusion or surgery before, although well-controlled clinical studies are necessary to assess the efficacy of surgical treatment. Taking these findings into consideration, the possibility that the SIJ is the source of pain should be considered in patients with failed back surgery syndrome after lumbar/lumbosacral fusion.

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Correspondence to Hiroyuki Yoshihara.

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Yoshihara, H. Sacroiliac joint pain after lumbar/lumbosacral fusion: current knowledge. Eur Spine J 21, 1788–1796 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-012-2350-8

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  • Sacroiliac joint pain
  • Lumbosacral fusion
  • Lumbar fusion
  • Pathophysiology