A new technique using toblerone shaped pegs to fuse a pelvic joint to help banish back pain has been introduced according to a recent article in the Daily Mail Good Health section.
As we all know around 80-90 per cent of us suffer from lower back pain at some point in our lives, which can be caused by the sacroiliac joint, which is where the spine joins the pelvis.
If all other treatments (injections, physio etc) doesn’t help then they can fuse the joint. This then ends the problem altogether as the joint doesn’t move much so the stiffness is not noticed as much. The latest technqiue uses three titanium pegs to fix the sacrum, the triangular bone at the bottom of the spine, to the pelvis. It can be done via keyhole surgery and has recently been approved by NICE as being safe and effective.
The pegs used are iFuse, which are triangular Toblerone shaped pegs made from titanium. The operation only takes around 30 minutes under general anaesthetic and recovery usually takes six to eight weeks but can take up to 12 weeks.
Michael Grevitt who is a consultant spinal surgeon at the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham ( he performed my last spinal keyhole surgery), commented that ‘most say there is no pain afterwards or rate it a one or two out of ten’.
Of course there are some risks which include drilling close to an artery could mean there is a small risk of major bleeding or a blood clot, a small risk of nerve damage or infection and around 15 per cent of patients will need the other side operated on too.