Treatment of sacroiliac joint laxity-induced coronal imbalance with the kickstand rod technique

Justin K. Zhang, Christopher F. Dibble, John Cashin, Samer Hajji, Ian Dorward, Ammar Hawasli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Considerations of the sacroiliac joint (SIJ) and its role in causing lower back and limb pain have taken a secondary role ever since Mixter and Barr’s hallmark article in 1934 on the herniated nucleus pulposus. However, recent literature has highlighted the contribution of sacroiliac joint degeneration in the development of failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS), especially in patients undergoing lumbar or lumbosacral spinal fusion surgeries. Many reports have studied the anatomy, physiology, and clinical significance of the sacroiliac joint, but none have linked its dysfunction with other spinal deformities. Case Description: A 63-year-old female with a history of multiple complex instrumented spinal fusions presented to our institution with progressive leftward coronal imbalance despite successful arthrodesis from T3 through S1. She was initially treated with decompression and reimplantation, but adjacent segment disease at the SIJ led to laxity, distal failure, and a worsening coronal deformity. A mechanical fall after her decompression surgery led to a dramatically increased coronal imbalance, which was ultimately treated using Lenke’s kickstand rod technique. At 3.5 years follow up, the patient’s coronal balance remains stable. Conclusion: Few studies have related SIJ degeneration and laxity with spinal deformity. Our case describes SIJ degeneration that evolved to joint laxity, which ultimately produced a leftward coronal imbalance according to the adjacent segment disease mechanism. Additionally, we describe the use of a kickstand rod to effectively correct the coronal imbalance, reduce pain levels, promote SIJ arthrodesis, and prevent further SIJ-related issues without significant complications over 3 years post-operation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Neurosurgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Coronal imbalance
  • joint hypermobility
  • kickstand rod
  • pseudarthrosis
  • sacroiliac joint
  • spinal deformity
  • spinal fusion


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