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Trish started feeling sacroiliac (SI) joint pain in the second trimester of her pregnancy in 2013. Unfortunately, she was misdiagnosed as having sciatica and suffered through the delivery of her son, which made things worse. “I went from being very active and working out to needing a wheelchair or electric scooter to shop at the grocery store and Hydrocodone around the clock,” Trish says. Then she heard about the Rialto™ SI fusion system. Eight months post-op she is training to run a 5K.
After the birth of her son Trish continued to deteriorate, having pain in her SI joint and groin, with difficulty walking or standing for even short periods of time. She needed to sit in a chair to watch her son play outside. “It was devastating to me as a mother.”
In search of relief Trish tried everything available: SI joint exercises, SI joint injections, radiofrequency nerve ablations, medications, sacroiliac belting, ice, heat, rest – and the list goes on. “I felt like I was shuffled from one doctor to another and spent my life in waiting rooms with no answers and no relief. I’m surprised I was able to keep my job.” Eventually Trish was referred to an orthopedic surgeon for SI joint fusion after being diagnosed with SI joint dysfunction.
Through research Trish learned about the differences in the methods for SI joint fusion. She found a video by Dr. Carter Beck on YouTube, joined multiple SI joint Facebook groups, and spoke to patients who had the Rialto SI fusion system. Although Trish was already scheduled for a lateral approach fusion, she decided to fly from Tampa to Montana to receive a second opinion from Dr. Beck.
“After meeting with him I was 100% certain this was the method for me and cancelled my other SI joint fusion surgery back home. I have a toddler at home now and the immediate weight bearing of Rialto was a far superior option for me as well as an easier recovery.” She flew across the country, through four airports, because that’s how strongly she believed in the surgical approach used with the Rialto system.
Eight months after surgery, Trish can do yoga, run stairs, do squats, lift weights, and walk around a convention center for seven hours with no pain. Most days she is pain-free. The pain she occasionally experiences is alleviated with simple stretching and walking. Trish no longer needs prescription medication: “I said ‘buh bye’ to my pain management specialist.” Much to her surprise, Trish recently participated in a bowling tournament. She is most grateful, however, for the ability to hold her son again. “The sheer joy of being able to fully participate in motherhood cannot be underestimated...this was a gift to not only my husband and I...but my son has his mother back.”
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.