Last updated: May 22, 2020

Sacroiliac Joint Injections

A sacroiliac (SI) joint injection is primarily used either to diagnose or treat lower back pain and/or sciatica symptoms associated with sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

The sacroiliac joints lie and connect the sacrum of the spine to the pelvis and hip on both sides. Joint inflammation and/or dysfunction in this area can produce pain in the back, buttock, hip, and groin frequently radiates down the leg. Patients with sacroiliac joint dysfunction typically have increased discomfort with prolonged standing and walking activities. This injury is often due to a twisting and turning motion, jarring from the leg up or a fall backwards onto the buttocks. The sacroiliac joint problem can often go undiagnosed for a period of time.

The purpose of a sacroiliac joint injection is two-fold: to diagnose the source of a patient’s pain, and to provide therapeutic pain relief. At times, these are separated and a patient will undergo a purely diagnostic or therapeutic injection, although often the two are combined into one injection.

Procedure details

After the doctor examines you and goes over the risks and benefits of the procedure, s/he will ask you to sign a consent form. Then, you will be assisted to the X-ray table and made as comfortable as possible lying on your stomach. The skin is numbed with a local anesthetic. Using X-ray guidance, a needle is advanced into the sacroiliac joint. X-ray dye will be injected to confirm proper placement (Please let your doctor know if you have ever had an allergic reaction to X-ray dye or shellfish). Local anesthetic and a steroid are then injected into the joint, and the needle is removed. The injection site will be washed and a bandage will be applied. You will be monitored for a time in the recovery area (usually 20-30 minutes) where you may be offered juice/soda and graham crackers.

Candidates

  • Minimum 18 years of age
  • Persistent lower back pain, originating over the sacroiliac joint
  • Radiating pain to buttock, groin and lower extremities
This page was published on Jul 20, 2017, modified on May 22, 2020 by Dr. Freeman (Pain Management Specialist) of Redefine Healthcare
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