The efficacy of primary sacroiliac joint fusion for low back pain caused by sacroiliac joint pathology: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Purpose: Conduct a systematic review to quantify the effect of primary sacroiliac joint fusion (SIJF) for the treatment of sacroiliac (SI) joint pathology on patient reported outcomes.
Methods: Medline, Embase, Cochrane, PubMed, and Scopus databases were searched prior to August 18th, 2020 for all English-Language studies involving the treatment of SIJ pathology through SIJF and/or conservative management (CM). The quality of included studies was assessed using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE). Primary outcome measure was the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for low back pain. Secondary outcome measure was the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and the incidence of adverse reactions.
Results: A total of 564 patients and six studies were included. The overall quality of evidence analyzed by this review was low (GRADE = 0). Five out of the six studies were industry funded. The VAS standardized mean difference (SMD) between SIJF and CM at three months and six months follow-up was - 1.4 [95% confidence interval - 2.3, - 0.6] and - 1.5 [95% CI - 1.8, - 1.1]. The ODI SMD between SIJF and CM scores at three months and 6 months follow-up was - 0.9 [95% CI - 1.1, - 0.7] and - 1.1 [95% CI - 1.6, - 0.5]. The odds ratio of adverse reactions due to SIJF compared to CM was 1.9 [95% CI 0.1, 42.8].
Conclusion: Based on the limited number of independent trials with long-term follow-up, SIJF shows potential as a surgical treatment option for SIJ pathology.
Prospero registration: CRD42020206149 (25th September 2020).
Keywords: Fusion; Low back; Pain; Sacroiliac; Spine.