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SI-merger: securing the sacroiliac joint

A painful sacroiliac joint (SI-joint) is one of the most common causes of mechanical lower back pain. The pain is situated in the lower back or in the buttocks and may also radiate to the legs, down to the feet even. Because of this, the pain is sometimes confused with that of a herniated disc in the lower back. Problems with the SI-joint may lead to problems when sitting: it feels uncomfortable to sit on a flat chair.

The lumbar spine ends in the sacrum. The sacrum is a triangular bone that is formed following the merging of some vertebrae during their development. The sacroiliac joint (SI-joint) is located in between the sacrum and the iliac bones (the ilia of the pelvis). You can recognise these joints on the outside as two small dimples on both sides of the lower back where your belt is.

Pain at the SI-joint can be caused, among others, by an accident or due to arthrosis (wear, often at higher age) or stress during pregnancies.

If the SI-joint is too mobile and problems persevere, stabilising the SI-joint may be a solution. This can be done through surgery in the OLV Hospital, where they master the use of this advanced surgical technique to perfection.

The surgical operation entails the merging of the painful SI-joint. A merger is an operation in which the articular cartilage is removed from both outer ends of the bones forming the joint. The two bones are held together with plates and screws until they have grown into one another or, in other words, have merged into one bone. This stops the movements in between both joints and takes away the pain.