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Thread: Relief from iliac screw pain

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    York, PA
    Posts
    332

    Relief from iliac screw pain

    I just wanted to pass this along to those of you who may be dealing with pain from the screws in your pelvis. About a week and a half ago, I had an epidural steroid injection in the sacro-iliac joint. (And I thought my pain mgmt. days were over.) It takes a little while for it to kick in, but it has helped a lot. I still have some tenderness in that area but that "pinching" type pain from the screw has really eased off. I know this is probably only short term relief and I may have to have the screw removed at some point. I did this with approval from my surgeon's office and at 9 months, I am past the point of concern with steroids interfering with fusion. Just something you might want to consider if you have discomfort from those screws. Best wishes to all of you that have surgery coming up soon. It just keeps getting better after those rough initial weeks.


    Anne in PA
    Age 58
    Diagnosed at age 14, untreated, no problem until age 50
    T4 to sacrum fusion
    63 thoracic now 35, 92 lumbar now 53
    Dr. Baron Lonner, 2/2/10
    Am pain-free, balanced, happy & an inch taller !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    hi Anne
    i am SO glad that the sacroiliac injections worked for you!!
    i have not had surgery...yet...
    but of the two times i have had sacroiliac joint injections, the shots worked the first time, a year ago, and did nothing this time, 2 weeks ago...i had 2 different doctors, in 2 different offices...but the second time, the doctor put dye in to be sure he got the right spot...& still it didn't bring any pain relief...

    i hope the pain relief lasts and lasts for you...

    best regards...
    jess

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    416

    Cool

    Hi Anne,
    This is good to know...so glad you have obtained relief from your pain! I have a similar type problem, I'm having fairly significant sciatica in my right leg just since my second surgery and my iliac area is very very tender to pressure. Not sure if it is related to my iliac screw, but my surgeon had me get a CT scan last week and I have an appt on Friday to investigate. How great would it be to have relief with an injection vs. more surgery?
    It's always something......
    May 2008 Fusion T4 - S1, Pre-op Curves T45, L70 (age 48). Unsuccessful surgery.

    March 18, 2010 (age 50). Revision with L3 Osteotomy, Replacement of hardware T11 - S1 , addition of bilateral pelvic fixation. Correction of sagittal imbalance and kyphosis.

    January 24, 2012 (age 52) Revision to repair pseudoarthrosis and 2 broken rods at L3/L4.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Wheeling, WV
    Posts
    1,105
    Hi Anne,

    This a subject that comes up often, and your thread will be very helpful to so many people.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Shari

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    200
    Hi Anne,
    Hope you are doing well.
    I was wondering if you are still having pain with your iliac screws. I have soreness over the screws and occasional pain at 8.5 months out. I think you are more than 1 year out and wondered if it had gotten better.
    Thanks and best wishes!
    Kathy
    46 yrs at surgery, now 50
    71 degree thoracolumbar curve corrected to 34 degrees
    8/2/2010 surgery with Dr. Lenke

    posterior T9 to sacrum with pelvic fixation

    4 osteotomies and 1 cage
    http://s1066.photobucket.com/albums/...athK_08022010/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    i found out later that the second set of SI joint injections weren't SI joint injections at all...it was a doctor trying to treat pain from sciatica, but i didn't get the truth til a month later...so that could be why they didn't work...and they didn't help ANY of my pain!

    i haven't had spinal surgery..yet...
    but just wanted to say, concerning SI joint injections, that i had SI joint injections today with a new doc in CT that i really like...he does both spinal surgery and pain tx, which is unusual, in my experience....anyway, i hope the shots help me the way the first round did...i have heard from others who got help from injections in that area, when it often doesn't seem to even make sense that the sacroiliac joint is the area to treat!

    jess

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    75

    question for Anne

    Hi Anne Im 5 weeks out and read your post. When did you realize that the pain was here to stay and not just healing? I have alot of aching in my left hip and I'm wondering if its just healing or that damn screw! Right now I'm iceing it and that helps. Thanks for your input

    Sarahcant
    t-5 sacrum
    dr errico
    nyu march 15 2011

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    York, PA
    Posts
    332
    Actually, that pain is getting better esp. right at the screw site. When I was at my 1 year check up in Mar., Dr. Lonner said they can take it out at any time and that it was a "simple procedure." Life is just too busy right now and I thought maybe I'd do it in the summer. Since then I have been doing physical therapy as well as working with a great massage therapist who does "myofacial release" which is helping everything. He thought that I might be forming more scar tissue around the screw which would make it less painful. I still have some tenderness on the same side as the screw, kind of across the top of my pelvic bone (iliac crest??) which I attributed to inflammation from the screw although both PT and massage therapist think that's soft tissue. That was my "concave side" and it's where the muscles are now being stretched after being compressed for so many years. We'll see how it goes but right now it's not bothering me enough to have it surgically removed.

    Sarah, I mentioned it when I was at my 6 month check up. Everything else had sort of settled down but that pain was still consistently there and the Dr. said it was probably from that screw. Soreness, almost a pinching type pain would be the best way to describe it and it was definitely localized at the screw site. It would bother me when I was walking, doing the stairs, even swimming sometimes. Would occasionally take some advil at bedtime, but the steroid shot really helped a lot.

    I totally agree with the post-ops who say there is a noticeable difference after 1 year. I had a pretty smooth recovery, but things have definitely kicked up a notch in the last month or two, which I am sure is partly from the therapy and exercise. It's easy to forget when you're back to normal life that your body is still busy recovering and that it takes a long time.

    Best wishes to everyone for continued healing and a happy spring.


    Anne in PA
    Age 58
    Diagnosed at age 14, untreated, no problem until age 50
    T4 to sacrum fusion
    63 thoracic now 35, 92 lumbar now 53
    Dr. Baron Lonner, 2/2/10
    Am pain-free, balanced, happy & an inch taller !

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    200
    Anne,
    Thanks so much for your reply! I am thrilled to hear you say that the soreness/pain has improved! I have soreness over the screws (I actually have a little bump over the screw on each side) and a deeper ache/pain periodically that I think might be the SI joint. I will keep waiting and hoping for improvement. The rest of my recovery has been very smooth.

    Sarah, I hope your pain goes away. I had pain over the screws early on also...I most vividly remember at 8 weeks having to scale back my walking program due to the pain over the screws.
    Kathy
    46 yrs at surgery, now 50
    71 degree thoracolumbar curve corrected to 34 degrees
    8/2/2010 surgery with Dr. Lenke

    posterior T9 to sacrum with pelvic fixation

    4 osteotomies and 1 cage
    http://s1066.photobucket.com/albums/...athK_08022010/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    5

    How do you know if the screws are causing the pain?

    I'm also a patient of Dr. Lonner's -- I had surgery just before Thanksgiving 2010. I was fused from T10-S1 and feel almost constant pain right around S1. It definitely hurts more when I walk and I sometimes get "jaunty legged" -- it just feels like my leg catches mid-stride and my nerves seize up right around that point. Something is definitely triggering the pain, but I can't tell if it's the screws or perhaps scar tissue that has grown into the nerves. I asked Dr. Lonner about this at my 3 month check-up but he completely blew my question off.

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