Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Pelvic joint fusion in patients with severe pelvic girdle pain – a prospective single-subject research design study

Thomas J Kibsgård1*, Olav Røise12 and Britt Stuge1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Orthopaedics, Division of Surgery and Clinical Neuroscience, Oslo University Hospital, Sognsvannsveien 20, 0372 Oslo, Norway

2 Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2014, 15:85  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-15-85

Published: 15 March 2014



The fusion of the pelvic joints in patients with severe pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is a controversial and insufficiently studied procedure. The aims of this study were to evaluate physical function and pain after sacroiliac joint (SIJ) fusion.


A single-subject research design study with repeated measurements was conducted; pre-operatively and at 3, 6 and 12 months post-operatively. The outcome measures considered were the Oswestry disability index (ODI), visual analogue scale (VAS), and SF-36. Eight patients with severe PGP received open-accessed unilateral anterior SIJ fusion and fusion of the pubic symphysis.


Seven patients reported positive results from the surgery. At 1 year post-operation, significant (p < 0.001) reductions in ODI (54 to 37) and VAS (82 to 57) were reported. The physical functioning, bodily pain, and social functioning scores in the SF-36 were also improved.


Positive and significant changes in disability and pain at 1 year after SIJ fusion were observed. Despite these positive results, open accessed anterior fusion of the SIJ was associated with adverse events and complications such as infection and nerve damage.

Sacroiliac joint; Fusion; Pain; Arthrodesis; Surgery; Pelvic girdle pain