Work-related SI joint symptoms are low back and buttock pain.  The pain can radiate down the leg and may be confused with a herniated disc in the lumbar spine. People often feel muscle spasm in one or both of their buttocks muscles.  Problems with the SI joint may make sitting difficult.  The SI joint dysfunction diagnosis is often made only after a disc herniation is ruled out.

Diagnosis begins with a complete history and physical exam but because it is difficult to distinguish SI joint from pain from other spine conditions, two other tools are key.  A low back MRI is helpful in ruling out a disc injury but the most accurate way of determining SI joint pain is to perform a diagnostic anesthetic injection of the joint. If the pain goes away while the anesthetic is in the joint, then the doctor can be reasonably sure that the pain is coming from the SI joint.

There can be many different causes of SI joint pain.  As worker’s compensation attorneys, we concerned with two causation situations, one traumatic and the other occupational or over time.  First, an automobile accident or slip and fall can cause SI joint dysfunction.  One common pattern of injury occurs when the driver of a vehicle places one foot on the brake during a collision. The impact through the foot on the brake is transmitted to the pelvis causing a twisting motion to one side of the pelvis. This can injure the SI joint on that side resulting in pain. A similar mechanism occurs with a fall on one buttock. The force again causes a twisting motion to the pelvis and may injure the ligaments around the joint.  Secondly, a worker who performs his or her job in an awkward position over a period of time can certainly develop SI joint dysfunction.  Under Wisconsin law, the accident or job duties over time do not have to be the sole cause of the SI joint dysfunction. For personal injury causation, the accident need only be a material contributory factor in the SI joint dysfunction.  For a worker’s compensation occupational injury claim, the job duties must be a material contributory causative factor in the SI joint dysfunction’s onset or progression.

Proving causation is usually the key to any successful worker’s compensation claim. To get the best results [nap_names id=”FIRM-NAME-1″] attorneys comb through the facts of the accident or job duties to see if they provide a factual basis for the doctor to base his or her expert causation opinion.  Then we ask the doctor specific questions in order to get the precise causation opinions necessary to establish the case.