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Innovations in Sacroiliac Joint Surgery: An Interview with Ilion Medical at NASS 2023

Interview with John Stark, the founder of Ilion Medical Inc., during the North American Spine Society (NASS) 2023. Learn about Ilion Medical's patented NeuroSafe® approach to sacroiliac joint surgery with the NADIA Implant.

In the world of healthcare and medical innovations, one name is making waves for its groundbreaking approach to addressing sacroiliac joint (SIJ) issues. Ilion Medical, Inc., a privately-owned company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is gaining recognition for its unique NeuroSafe® Sacroiliac Joint Fusion technique, which promises to transform the lives of millions worldwide. At the recent North American Spine Society (NASS) conference in Los Angeles in 2023, had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. John Stark, the founder of Ilion Medical, to delve into the innovative NADIA® implant and the remarkable approach behind it.

The Sacroiliac Joint

For decades, the sacroiliac joint, a vital yet often overlooked component of the spine, remained in the shadows of medical attention. The focus was primarily on issues like hip problems and degenerative disc diseases, while the sacroiliac joint’s significance was largely underestimated. Dr. Stark noted that this mobility-rich joint, situated between the pelvic and spinal bones, plays a crucial role in shock absorption and stability during movement.

However, its deep location within the body made it challenging to diagnose and treat effectively. Many patients suffering from SIJ problems experienced misdiagnosis or inadequate treatment, leading to persistent pain and discomfort.

The Unexpected Connection

Dr. Stark’s journey into the world of sacroiliac joint issues began during his years as an orthopedic surgeon. He noticed a group of patients who exhibited atypical symptoms, such as leg pain and discomfort when sitting, despite undergoing lumbar spine surgery. This anomaly intrigued him, and he began to investigate further.

What he discovered was that the sacroiliac joint was often the hidden culprit behind these issues. Patients who had previously undergone lumbar fusion surgery were experiencing complications related to the sacroiliac joint. Dr. Stark’s theory was that the sacroiliac joint was the reason why lumbar spine surgery had imperfect outcomes for many patients.

Developing a Solution

Driven by a desire to provide a safe and effective solution to SIJ problems, Dr. Stark embarked on a journey of research and innovation. He recognized the need to develop a method that not only restored the anatomy of the sacroiliac joint but also did so without compromising the safety of patients.

The Nadia NeuroSafe® Approach

Ilion Medical’s Nadia NeuroSafe® approach to sacroiliac joint fusion represents a revolutionary breakthrough. Unlike traditional methods that approach the SIJ from the lateral side and involve significant risks to neurovascular structures, Ilion’s approach follows orthopedic principles to ensure safety.

The procedure is performed under general anesthesia through a single small incision in the lower back, which typically takes about an hour and a half. The key to its success lies in its ability to restore the sacroiliac joint’s anatomy, allowing the bone to heal naturally. Ilion’s NADIA® implant, with its titanium core and unique design, helps stabilize the joint without putting patients at risk of neurovascular injuries.

FDA Clearance and Beyond

While the journey to FDA clearance was not without its challenges, Ilion Medical’s dedication and commitment to patient safety paid off. After three years and three applications, they achieved FDA clearance, allowing them to bring their innovative solution to a broader audience.

The Future of SI Joint Care

As Dr. Stark and Ilion Medical continue to educate the medical community about the significance of the sacroiliac joint and their innovative approach, the future looks promising for patients dealing with SIJ problems. With the NeuroSafe® Sacroiliac Joint Fusion technique, they offer a safe and restorative solution that has the potential to revolutionize the way we address SI joint issues.


Ilion Medical’s groundbreaking approach to sacroiliac joint fusion, as highlighted in their interview with at NASS 2023, underscores the importance of recognizing the hidden culprits behind spinal pain. Dr. Stark’s commitment to restoring anatomy and ensuring patient safety has paved the way for a new era in spine care. As more healthcare professionals embrace this innovative solution, millions of individuals worldwide can look forward to improved quality of life and lasting relief from SIJ-related discomfort.

Ilion Medical's NeuroSafe® approach offers hope for those suffering from sacroiliac joint issues.

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