Mary’s Story Sacroiliac Joint Fusion



The pain in Mary’s lower back and buttocks started six years ago and increased over time. “My symptoms had gotten so bad that I could not lay down for longer than three hours,” she recalls. All physical activities had to stop, including the sports she loved. Relief finally came with sacroiliac (SI) joint fusion with the Rialto™ SI fusion system. “I feel like I have gotten my life back.”


When the pain first started, Mary tried chiropractic care, massage therapy, and physical therapy. She had eight injections directed by pain clinics, with little relief until the injection went directly into the SI joint. “I finally had some relief for the first time in six years.” However, the pain returned after a few days.

Mary’s pain increased to the point where she could not bend to clean or push the vacuum. She was having a hard time lifting her small grandchildren and riding in the car for long distances. She was taking 12 ibuprofen a day with either a Percocet or Fentanyl pain patch to handle daily pain. “It was unbearable!”

Dr. William Rosenberg of the Center for the Relief of Pain in Kansas City, Missouri, thought Mary would be a good candidate for the Rialto SI fusion system after diagnosing her with degenerative sacroiliitis. He was the fourth neurosurgeon that Mary had seen over the last four years, and the only one willing to go the extra mile to help Mary get the procedure covered by her insurance. (Mary appealed to the insurance company twice and took her case to the External Review board twice. Ultimately, with the help of Dr. Rosenberg, she prevailed.)


By the third day after surgery, Mary no longer needed to take pills for pain, and she was able to sleep through the night with little trouble. She was thrilled to be able to once again walk two miles a day on her treadmill. Mary is looking forward to walking further and getting back to playing tennis and golf. “I would recommend this procedure to anyone who is looking for SI joint relief. I am so thankful to Dr. Rosenberg and this Rialto system!”

This story reflects one person's experience with the Rialto SI fusion system. Not every person will receive the same results. Talk to your doctor about your treatment options. 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 hospitalization or recovery, additional medications, and sometimes even additional surgery.