What is the sacroiliac joint?
The sacroiliac joints are on each side of the spine. They are the joints between the tailbone (sacrum) and the pelvis. While an x-ray may show arthritis in these structures, this does not necessarily indicate that pain is being generated from this area.
How does a sacroiliac joint injection work?
The purpose of a sacroiliac joint block is both diagnostic and therapeutic. It is performed to determine if pain is being caused by the sacroiliac joint(s) and to treat pain coming from this area. Medications are used in the diagnostic and initial treatment phase of this treatment.
How is a sacroiliac joint injection performed?
Sacroiliac joint injections are performed in the procedure suite using fluoroscopy (x-ray). Sedation may or may not be used for this procedure.
The patient is positioned on the fluoroscopy table and the sacroiliac joints to be treated are visualized. The skin is then frozen and a numbing medication (local anesthetic) with or without a steroid is injected into the sacroiliac joint(s) to be treated.
What are the potential risks with a sacroiliac joint injection?
As with any invasive procedure there is a risk of infection and bleeding at the injection site.
What are the expected benefits of this treatment?
Pain relief should be noted immediately after the procedure. It may only last for the duration of the local anesthetic (4-6 hours). In some patients the steroid that is injected may decrease pain for a prolonged period of time. It is common to have localized pain at the needle puncture site. Generally, ice applied to this area is helpful.
These procedures are most effective when combined with other methods to control pain which include physical therapy, medication management, weight loss, smoking cessation, and other recommended interventions. If you receive anesthesia or sedation additional risks
are also present.