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Sacroiliac joint fusion and the implications for manual therapy diagnosis and treatment

PainSci » bibliography » Dar et al 2008
Tags: back pain, anatomy, pain problems, spine

Two articles on PainSci cite Dar 2008: 1. Massage Therapy for Low Back Pain (So Low That It’s Not In the Back)2. The Complete Guide to Low Back Pain

PainSci commentary on Dar 2008: ?This page is one of thousands in the bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided wherever possible.

This study of 287 people showed that the sacroliac joint fuses with age, to the point where nearly half of subjects over 80 no longer had a joint there. Also, there was a dramatic gender split: almost 30% of the men were fused, but only 3% of the women.

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

The present paper examines gender differences and changes in prevalence of ankylosed sacroiliac joint (SIJ) with age. SIJs of 287 patients (159 males and 128 females), aged 22-93 years, were examined for fusion, using 3-D CT images. Presence, side and location of the fusion along the joint borders were recorded. Fusion of the SIJ was found to be gender and age dependent; present in 27.7% of all males in contrast to only 3.0% in females (p<0.001). The phenomenon increased with age in the male population from 5.8% in the 20-39 age cohorts to 46.7% in the 80+ cohort. As mobilization and/or manipulation of a dysfunctional SIJ are common procedures used by manual therapists, the effect that aging has on SIJ mobility requires therapists to alter or change their method with advancing age.

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