A sacroiliac joint injection uses a local anesthetic and corticosteroid medication, which is placed into the joints of the lower back. The procedure offers moderate pain relief that can last for several weeks. The sacroiliac joint is often affected by SI joint dysfunction.
What causes sacroiliac joint pain?
Sacroiliac joint pain occurs from wear and tear of the cartilage layer of the bone. This cartilage allows for shock absorption and movement between bones. When the cartilage erodes, the bones rub on another, and degenerative arthritis occurs. Called SI joint dysfunction, this condition alters normal walking, and produces increased stress of joints.
How can I prepare for this procedure?
With this procedure, you should avoid notify the doctor of all medications you take. Certain agents that thin the blood are to be held for several days beforehand. In addition, you should not drink liquids before the appointment, in case sedation is required. Be sure to wear loose-fitting clothes, and leave all jewelry at home. In addition, arrange someone to drive you home.
Does the injection(s) hurt?
You will feel some type of discomfort as the needle goes into the joint. Other than this, the procedure is relatively painless. Mild soreness at the site is expected for a few hours. Use a coated ice pack to the site for 20-minute intervals for a few days.
How is the procedure done?
After the you sign a consent form, you are positioned on a procedure table. The procedure needle is inserted into the SI joint gently using fluoroscopy for guidance. After the medication is injected into the joint, a bandage is applied over the site.
What can I expect after the procedure?
After the procedure, you will notice some mild pain at the site. After you are discharged home, you can rest the remainder of the day. Your pain usually improves after 2-3 days, and the effects last for up to 2-4 months. We advise you to use an ice pack to alleviate discomforts associated with these problems.
How often will I need a sacroiliac joint injection?
SI joint injections are given every 3-6 months. Most doctors only administer a one to each joint 2-3 times per year.
How effective is the sacroiliac joint injection?
Therapeutic intra-articular sacroiliac joint injections are used for sacroiliitis. In a recent study involving 60 patients, a local anesthetic and corticosteroid were injected. In this study, the procedure proved to be 78% effective. The researchers concluded that the technique was a rapid, safe, and effective procedure for pain.
Are there risks associated with this procedure?
With the sacroiliac joint injection, you may experience temporary weakness and numbness of the legs, which is related to the local anesthetic. However, this rarely occurs and does not last long. In addition, there is a rare chance of bleeding, allergic reaction, and infection.
Pekkafali MZ, Kiralp MZ, BaSekim CC, et al. (2008). Sacroiliac Joint Injections Performed with Sonographic Guidance. Journal of Ultrasound Medicine, 22, 553-559.