My name is Jeanne, I’m from South Africa and I’m a patient of Dr. Hazzard and Vicky Sims. I have recently had minimally invasive bi-lateral SI joint fixation and right now I’m three weeks post- op.
I came to the US to seek help with my dysfunctional SI joints, and have been lucky enough to meet with Dr. Hazzard and Vicky to get to the problem of my chronic SI joints. It was all triggered by a scuba diving incident where I lost my balance and fell onto rocky boulders. At that time I did not realize it, but I had fractured my lowest vertebra at L5 in 2 places and I herniated 2 discs at L4 and L5. Looking back now, that is probably where i injured my SI joints. What followed was a number of years where I had several lumbar fusions to address those injuries, but after those surgeries my SI joint pain intensified. When the pain was at it’s worse it affected every aspect of my life. Sitting and standing without pain was impossible, walking for more then 5 minutes would cause severe pain and spams in my legs and back. My quality of sleep was very poor, because with SI joint dysfunction any position you stay in for more than 5 minutes resulted in severe pain.
I arrived in Gainesville at the end of last year and I remember coming to Vicky’s practice and chatting for a little bit. She immediately got me up to evaluate my SI joint and after a few alignments she began explaining what was going on in my pelvis. It was eye opening. She suggested a course of conservative treatment involving, pelvic alignment, strengthening excersies, and a taping technique. I immediately began these treatments and quickly saw relief. After a couple of days the tape came off and all of the pain came back. It was at that stage I needed to consider surgery.
Dr. Hazzard and his team meet with me and discussed what I could expect from MIS SI Joint Fixation and how different it would be from my previous surgeries. He explained the pros and cons of the different surgical techniques and also what I could expect from an outcome. Dr. Hazzard and Vicky quickly put my fears at bay and painted a realistic picture of what I could expect and I really appreciated having that knowledge before surgery.
One thing I had no idea was possible, was the fact that after surgery I could go home the same day. That to me was incredible because i’m used to staying in hospitals for a significant amount of time from my previous back surgeries.
I’m still early in the recovery, but it is exciting because I know there is still a lot of room for improvement. Immediately after surgery I was in less pain and had a decrease in the amount of back spasms. I noticed less pain while sitting and that was such a problem before surgery. I was suddenly able to sleep on my side and for 8 years I was unable to do that and that was a very happy moment for me.
I have enormous gratitude for Dr. Hazzard, Vicky, and Life Spine. The advocates for SI joint fixation play a vital role in bringing hope for people that are suffering for a period of time.
If anyone found themselves in a similar situation to me, my advice would be to first seek a diagnosis from an SI specialists and the second thing would be to try a course of conservative treatments with the help of a specialists physical therapist. If all of that didn’t decrease the pain significantly I would seriously consider the surgery as a viable option to address the pain. You don’t have to suffer the rest of your life with this condition, the treatment offered can help.