Pelvic joint fusion in patients with severe pelvic girdle pain – a prospective single-subject research design study
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
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2014, 15:85 doi:10.1186/1471-2474-15-85Published: 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.