Sacroiliac Fusion: Another "Magic Bullet" Destined for Disrepute

Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2017 Jul;28(3):313-320. doi: 10.1016/


Pain related to joint dysfunction can be treated with joint fusion; this is a long-standing principle of musculoskeletal surgery. However, pain arising from the sacroiliac (SI) joint is difficult to diagnose. Several implant devices are available that promote fusion by simply crossing the joint space. Evidence establishing outcomes is misleading because of vague diagnostic criteria, flawed methodology, bias, and limited follow-up. Because of nonstandardized indications and historically inferior reconstruction techniques, SI joint fusion should be considered unproven. The indications and procedure in their present form are unlikely to stand up to close scrutiny or weather the test of time.

Keywords: Back pain; Evidence; Quackery; Spinal fusion.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthralgia / diagnosis
  • Arthralgia / etiology
  • Disclosure
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / diagnosis
  • Low Back Pain / etiology
  • Low Back Pain / surgery*
  • Sacroiliac Joint / surgery*
  • Spinal Fusion / methods*
  • Spinal Fusion / trends
  • Treatment Outcome