Ignoring the sacroiliac joint in chronic low back pain is costly

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SCIENCE
Ignoring the sacroiliac joint in chronic low back pain is costly
Key Take-Away: 

The sacroiliac (SI) joint connects the sacrum (triangular bone at the bottom of the spine) with the pelvis (iliac bone that is part of the hip joint) on each side of the lower spine. SI joint problems are a common cause of low back pain. Here in the present research article, the invasive sacroiliac joint (SIJ) is used as a diagnostic technique, hence proving its worth.

Increasing evidence supports minimally invasive sacroiliac joint (SIJ) fusion as a safe and effective treatment for SIJ dysfunction.

ABSTRACT: 
Background: 

Increasing evidence supports minimally invasive sacroiliac joint (SIJ) fusion as a safe and effective treatment for SIJ dysfunction.

Failure to include the SIJ in the diagnostic evaluation of low back pain could result in unnecessary health care expenses.

Methods: 

A decision analytic model calculating 2-year direct health care costs in patients with chronic low back pain considering lumbar fusion surgery was used.

Results: 

The strategy of including the SIJ in the preoperative diagnostic workup of chronic low back pain saves an expected US$3,100 per patient over 2 years.

Cost savings were robust to reasonable ranges for costs and probabilities, such as the probability of diagnosis and the probability of successful surgical treatment.

Conclusion: 

Including the SIJ as part of the diagnostic strategy in preoperative patients with chronic low back pain is likely to be cost saving in the short term.

Clinicoecon Outcomes Res. 2016; 8: 23–31

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