Sacroiliac Joint Fusion

Minimally invasive pain Surgery
Stabilink/vertiflex/si joint fusion

9218 Kimmer Drive, Suite 101 Lone Tree, CO 80124
(P): 303-623-2680 (F): 303-623-2814

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FOLLOWING THE PROCEDURE?

If you experience discomfort, you may apply a wrapped ice pack intermittently for the first 24 hours then heat or ice packs thereafter. You may take analgesics such as Tylenol but avoid other blood thinning anti-inflammatories such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen that may increase your susceptibility to bleeding.  You may receive a prescription for analgesics to control pain, take them as prescribed. You may experience drowsiness or constipation from the medications, so consider taking a stool softener. Do not take extra opioid medications without permission from your physician.

WHAT CAN OR SHOULD I DO AFTER THE PROCEDURE?

Activity: Please avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting, this includes lifting, pushing, or pulling heavy objects (>5 pounds) until your follow up appointment.  When bending to lift an object off the floor, bend at the knees and NOT at the waist.  Hold on to the back of a chair when bending.  Keep your spine in good alignment, do not twist the spine in any way.  In order to avoid twisting your spine in bed at night, use a pillow in between your legs and at your sides to avoid rolling over onto your stomach.  Use a straight back chair or ridged recliner for sitting.  Do not use low or soft cushioned chairs for sitting, as they offer very little support and may be hard to get up from.  In the first 10-14 days, it is recommended to implement a regular walking regimen to help you stay mobile and increase your fitness and endurance, try to avoid extended periods of sitting/inactivity for more than 1 hour.  Begin with short trips to increase time and distance. Start with 10 minutes and slowly progress to walking 20-30 minutes 3-4 times/day.  Over the next few weeks gradually increase the duration and frequency that is comfortable for you.  You may climb stairs, start slowly, and use the handrail for balance and stability.  If you are uncomfortable with the stairs initially, have someone help you with the stairs the first few days following your procedure. 

Other activity restrictions: __________________________________________________________________________

Driving: For Stabilink procedure only, you are not to drive for the first 10-14 days following surgery.  You can ride in a car for short distances up to 20 minutes after the first week.  Prolonged sitting in a car may exacerbate back or leg symptoms.  

Diet:  Start with clear liquids, especially if you have had sedation. If your stomach tolerates liquids, slowly advance your diet as tolerated until you have resumed your normal diet. Do not consume alcohol for the next 24 hours.  

Sedation/Anesthesia: If you have had sedation/anesthesia the following applies for the next 24 hours. DO NOT drive, drink alcohol, or use recreational drugs, operate machinery, tools, or firearms, sign important or legal documents. You MUST have a responsible adult with you for 24 hours following sedation/anesthesia. 

Medications:  Please resume your home medications as indicated on your home medication discharge list. If taking any blood thinners, please refer to the discharge medication list to determine when you may resume your blood thinner. Please do not drive while taking narcotics or muscle relaxants. 

Incision Care: Ensure your wound remains clean and dry.  You may remove the outer dressing 2 days following your procedure.  Any adhesive strips covering the incision should begin to fall off within 7-10 days after your procedure.  If they have not fallen off after 14 days, you may remove them.  In most cases dissolvable sutures have been used for your incision.  If staples have been used, you will need to be seen in the office in 7-10 days from your surgery to have the staples removed.  

Lumbar Brace: In addition to the soft tissue that must heal following the surgery, we are also waiting for the bone to mesh together to form a solid fusion.  During this time, you should be careful when bending and twisting.  If deemed necessary by your physician, you may be required to wear a lumbar brace.  You should put your brace on before getting out of bed, please wear your brace to sit up or stand.  Do not be alarmed if you cannot tolerate wearing your brace during the initial post operative period.  You may have some swelling around the surgical site which may make wearing the brace somewhat difficult. 

Shower:  You may remove your dressing in 48 hours and shower, allowing soap and water to run over your incision.  Pat incision dry and then you may reapply a clean dressing. Please avoid all bathtubs, swimming pools, and hot tubs for the next 3 weeks to avoid submerging your incision site in water. 

Work:   Talk with your physician to determine when you may return to work or school following your procedure.   

Follow-Up Appointment: You should have a follow-up appointment scheduled in 10-14 days. If this is not scheduled, please call the office to schedule. 

POST PROCEDURE PRECAUTIONS

Please call your physician’s office if you develop any of the following:
  • Local tissue swelling, redness, drainage or severe tenderness at the injection site or NEW onset of radiating pain to a different location of your body.
  • Fever > 100.4 °F
  • Severe headache occurring after the procedure that is worse when standing and/or sitting and is not controlled by medications. This may also be associated with nausea and/or vomiting.
  • You may experience numbness or weakness immediately following the procedure, if this lasts more than 6 hours, please contact your physician.
  • In the event of any urgent problems or questions, call your physician’s office at the number listed below from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday-Friday. If you call after hours, the answering service will connect you with the on-call provider. For emergencies, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room. 
  • VMD Pain: 303-750-8100
  • VThe Denver Spine and Pain Institute: 303-327-5511
  • VOrthopedic Centers of Colorado: 303-344-9090

GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM or CALL 911 IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING:

    • Rapid development of bowel or bladder incontinence or inability to urinate within 6 hours.
    • Loss of sensation in the groin/rectal area or loss of strength in arms or legs.
    • High fever, sudden onset of substernal chest pain, or shortness of breath.
    • Severe lethargy, weakness, inability to walk, seizures or onset of confusion.

     

    PHYSICIAN: ___________________________________   OFFICE PHONE NUMBER: _______________________________

     

    INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN BY: ____________________ RESPONSIBLE PARTY SIGNATURE: __________________________________________________

     

    Date: ___/___/___   TIME: _____________ COPY PROVIDED TO PATIENT. 

    Patient Sticker