Alexander M. Ballatori, Shane Shahrestani, Xiao T. Chen, Andy Ton, Jeffrey C. Wang, Zorica Buser

March 2022, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 710 - 717 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-021-07031-8

First Online: 24 October 2021


Two main surgical approaches are available for fusing the sacroiliac joint (SIJ): an open or minimally invasive (MIS) approach. The purpose of this study was to analyze the associated total hospital charges and postoperative complications of the MIS and open approach.


Using the 2016 and 2017 National Readmission Database, we conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of 2521 patients who received a SIJ fusion with an open (N = 1990) or MIS (N = 531) approach for diagnosed sacrum pain, sacroiliitis, sacral instability, or spondylosis. Each cohort was analyzed for postoperative complications.


We identified 604 patients diagnosed with sacrum pain, 1142 with sacroiliitis, 315 with spondylosis, and 288 with sacral instability. Patients who received the open approach for sacrum pain had significantly higher rates of novel post-procedural pain (p = 0.045) and novel lumbar pathology (p = 0.015) within 30 days. On 30-day follow-up, patients with sacroiliitis treated with open SIJ fusion had significantly higher rates of novel postprocedural pain compared to those treated with MIS fusion (p = 0.045). Patients who received the open approach for spondylosis resulted in significantly higher rates of non-elective readmission within 30 days compared to the MIS approach (p 


Our study suggests that there exist unique postoperative complications that arise after SIJ fusion specific to preoperative diagnosis and surgical approach.

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