Recovering from Surgery SACROILIAC JOINT FUSION

Follow Your Recovery Plan

After sacroiliac joint fusion surgery, your medical team will design a recovery plan specific to your needs. Keep your doctors informed, follow their instructions, and contact them with questions. Give your body time to heal to maximize the chance of a good outcome. 


What to Expect After Surgery

Recovering from surgery takes time. How fast you recover depends on the type of surgery, your work with a physical therapist, and ability to move and exercise, as recommended by your surgeon. 

Recovery From SI Joint Fusion Surgery

Dr. Carter Beck says most people who have surgery for the Rialto SI fusion system walk out of the hospital and are sore, but functional, from day one. Usually symptoms last from 6 weeks to 3 months. Dr. Beck is a neurological surgeon at Montana Neurosurgical Specialists in Missoula, Montana.

In most cases, immediately after surgery your medical team will continue to monitor your heart and lung function. Your doctor may also prescribe medication to control pain and nausea.

Before you leave the hospital, your doctor or nurse may:

  • Show you how to care for the incision
  • Require you to wear a back brace
  • Describe ways to slowly increase your activity
  • Discuss what activities to avoid and for how long, such as repetitive bending, lifting, twisting, and athletic activities
  • Advise you to avoid vibrations, such as those you might experience when driving a car, for a period of time
  • Schedule office visits to monitor your recovery

Recovering From SI Joint Fusion Surgery

Dr. David Rouben talks about toe-touch weight-bearing which unloads stress across that joint and promotes healing. Dr. Rouben is an orthopedic surgeon at Norton Spine Specialists in Louisville, Kentucky.


Physical Therapy

Your surgeon may refer you to a physical therapist who will teach you exercises to improve your strength and increase your mobility. The goal of physical therapy is to help you become active as soon as possible, using safe body movements that protect your spine and your sacroiliac joint. This often includes abdominal-strengthening exercises. The therapist may also teach you different ways of standing, sitting, or lifting to avoid reinjuring your spine.


Warning Signs

Contact your doctor immediately if:

  • You get a fever
  • The incision site starts leaking blood (red streaks) or pus (a thick yellowish or greenish liquid)
  • You have trouble swallowing or breathing
  • You have trouble urinating
  • You have new or increased back or leg pain or numbness

Be Good to Yourself

Recovering from SI joint fusion surgery is an ongoing process. The timeline is unique to each patient. The best way to recover? Be kind to yourself and follow your medical team’s instructions.