Patient-reported outcomes after minimally invasive sacro-iliac joint surgery: a cohort study based on the Swedish Spine Registry

Acta Orthop. 2024 Jun 14:95:284-289. doi: 10.2340/17453674.2024.40817.


Background and purpose: There is conflicting evidence regarding treatment outcomes after minimally invasive sacroiliac joint fusion for long-lasting severe sacroiliac joint pain. The primary aim of our cohort study was to investigate change in patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) after minimally invasive sacroiliac joint surgery in daily practice in the Swedish Spine Registry. Secondary aims were to explore the proportion of patients reaching a patient acceptable symptom score (PASS) and the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) for pain scores, physical function, and health-related quality of life outcomes; furthermore, to evaluate self-reported satisfaction, walking distance, and changes in proportions of patients on full sick leave/disability leave and report complications and reoperations.

Methods: Data from the Swedish Spine Registry was collected for patients with first-time sacroiliac joint fusion, aged 21 to 70 years, with PROMs available preoperatively, at 1 or 2 years after last surgery. PROMs included Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) for low back pain (LBP) and leg pain, and EQ-VAS, in addition to demographic variables. We calculated mean change from pre- to postoperative and the proportion of patients achieving MCID and PASS.

Results: 68 patients had available pre- and postoperative data, with a mean age of 45 years (range 25-70) and 59 (87%) were female. At follow-up the mean reduction was 2.3 NRS points (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.6-2.9; P < 0.001) for LBP and 14.8 points (CI 10.6-18.9; P < 0.001) for ODI. EQ-VAS improved by 22 points (CI 15.4-30.3, P < 0.001) at follow-up. Approximately half of the patients achieved MCID and PASS for pain (MCID NRS LBP: 38/65 [59%] and PASS NRS LBP: 32/66 [49%]) and physical function (MCID ODI: 27/67 [40%] and PASS ODI: 24/67 [36%]). The odds for increasing the patient's walking distance to over 1 km at follow-up were 3.5 (CI 1.8-7.0; P < 0.0001), and of getting off full sick leave or full disability leave was 0.57 (CI 0.4-0.8; P = 0.001). In the first 3 months after surgery 3 complications were reported, and in the follow-up period 2 reoperations.

Conclusion: We found moderate treatment outcomes after minimally invasive sacroiliac joint fusion when applied in daily practice with moderate pain relief and small improvements in physical function.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minimal Clinically Important Difference
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures* / methods
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life
  • Registries*
  • Sacroiliac Joint* / surgery
  • Spinal Fusion / methods
  • Sweden
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult