StabiliSing the Sacroiliac Joint

Surgery might be an option to treat sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction and limit the amount of movement of the sacroiliac joint. A doctor may recommend a minimally invasive surgical procedure that fuses the SI joint.

Explanation of SI Joint Fusion Surgery - (01:13)

Dr. Carter Beck explains that SI joint fusion surgery is typically an outpatient procedure where patients go home the same day. Dr. Beck is a neurological surgeon at Montana Neurosurgical Specialists in Missoula, Montana.
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Rialto SI Fusion System

SI Joint Fusion System Rialto

SI joint fusion surgery is intended to stabilise the sacroiliac joint and provide an environment for fusion (joining bones together into one solid structure) to occur.

The specifically designed SI joint fusion system that uses a posterior approach consists of cylindrical threaded devices designed to enhance sacroiliac joint fusion.

The threaded devices are offered in various lengths to accommodate the anatomy. For fusion of the SI joint, one, two, or three devices may be placed at the surgeon’s discretion. 

Risks of SI Joint Surgery

Potential risks in any surgical procedure include unforeseeable complications caused by anaesthesia, blood clots, undiagnosed medical problems, such as silent heart disease, and rare allergic reactions. 

In addition, some risks of SI joint surgery include incomplete pain relief, damage to the nerve roots, infection, and complications with the hardware.

Most of these complications can be treated once they are detected, but sometimes they require a longer period of hospitalisation or recovery, additional medications, and sometimes even additional surgery.

These risks will be explained by the primary surgeon. In general, these complications happen very infrequently, but it is important to remember that surgery is a difficult process, and, therefore, unforeseeable complications do occur. 

During Surgery

A surgeon will perform the Rialto SI fusion procedure while a patient is under general anaesthesia. The SI fusion is considered a minimally invasive procedure.

  1. A surgeon will make a small incision above the buttock, just below the waist.  The incision will be slightly to the left or right of the spine, depending on the area to be treated.
  2. Through a series of steps, a cylindrical threaded device will be placed and packed with autograft and/or allograft to promote bone growth.
  3. Typically, but not always, two devices are placed to provide stability and promote fusion.

A patient should fully understand and follow a doctor’s advice so that the best possible outcome can be achieved.


Most SI fusion devices require the surgeon to perform the procedure from the side of the body, using a lateral approach. A system is now available in Australia and New Zealand that is specifically designed to use a posterior approach, meaning the surgeon enters from the back, avoiding muscle disruption.


Muscles are disrupted with a lateral approach.


Minimal muscle disruption with a posterior approach.

Advantages of the posterior approach used with the Rialto SI fusion system include:

  • Easier access - the device passes through less tissue and muscle during the implantation
  • Less invasive - fewer muscles are disrupted during the procedure

If you have questions about the Rialto SI fusion system, please consult a doctor, the only one qualified to diagnose and treat your condition.

Need help finding a doctor who is experienced in performing SI fusion surgery? Use this handy 'Find a Specialist' search tool.


Medtronic provides this listing as a service. We have no vested interest in any specific physicians, nor do we provide any recommendation, assurance, or guarantee with respect to their service. This listing may not be a complete list of all physicians who provide this service. Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Data is from a Medtronic survey conducted with physicians who are using posterior SI fusion approach and have previous experience in transgluteal/lateral SI fusion. Over 80% of the responding physicians stated that these attributes of a posterior approach were better compared to the transgluteal/lateral approach. The survey was not intended to compare specific products used.