Treating pain in Australia is a multi-billion dollar industry, which includes surgical interventions for treating persistent pain such as lower back pain.

ISCRR has researched and authored several reports relating to the clinical effectiveness of current treatments for persistent pain, including lumbar spinal fusion and spinal cord stimulators.

Most recently, Dr Sophie Pointer conducted a clinical effectiveness review of sacroiliac joint fusion for persistent lower back pain of sacroiliac joint origin (minimally invasive sacroiliac joint fusion, MISJF). The objective of the procedure is to reduce lower back pain arising from too much motion in the sacroiliac joints.

Over the last decade, there has been a marked increase in MISJF techniques and approved devises.

The current evidence suggests that in the short term (0-6 months), MISJF could be a safe and effective treatment for persistent lower back pain due to sacroiliac joint dysfunction. However, the level and quality of evidence underpinning this recommendation is low.

The evidence for effectiveness of the treatment in the long term (12+ months) is more limited and therefore the outcomes are uncertain.

What does this research mean for the future of MISJF as a treatment? Currently, there is no definitive answer. More quality clinical trials are needed examining different devices and longer-term outcomes.

ISCRR’s research report and research summary are available to download from ISCRR’s Clearinghouse.


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