Sacroiliac Joint Injection

What is the sacroiliac joint and why is a sacroiliac joint injection helpful?

The sacroiliac joint is a large joint in the region of your low back and buttocks. When the joint becomes painful it can cause pain in its immediate region or it can refer pain into your groin, abdomen, or leg.

A sacroiliac joint injection serves several purposes. First, by placing numbing medicine into the joint, the amount of immediate pain relief you experience will help confirm or deny the joint as a source of your pain. Additionally, the temporary pain relief of the numbing medicine may better allow a physical therapist or chiropractor to treat the joint. Also, time release cortisone will serve to reduce any presumed inflammation within your joint and further assist the physical therapist or chiropractor, if necessary. It is possible to obtain relief from the injection alone without follow-up physical therapy or chiropractic care.

What will happen to me during the procedure?

An IV may be started so that relaxation medicine can be provided. After lying on your stomach, the skin over your buttocks will be well cleaned. Next, the physician will numb a small area of skin which stings for a few seconds. Next, the physician will use x-ray guidance to direct a very small needle into the joint, and then he will inject several drops of contrast dye to confirm that the medicine goes into the joint. Then, a small amount of numbing medicine and anti-inflammatory cortisone will be slowly injected.

What should I do after the procedure?

20-30 minutes afterwards you will walk and try to provoke your usual pain. You will report your percentage of pain relief and also record the relief you experience during the next week on a “pain diary” we will provide to you. Mail the completed pain diary back to Advanced Pain Management and we will contact you when we receive your diary. You should no drive for eight hours following this procedure. On occasion, your leg may feel temporarily numb or weak for several hours. If this happens do not walk without assistance. Your physician may refer you to a physical therapist or chiropractor immediately afterwards while the numbing medicine is effective and over the next two weeks while the cortisone is working.

General Pre/Post Instructions

You should eat a light, but not a full meal at least 2 hours before the procedure. If you are an insulin dependent diabetic do not alter your normal food intake. Take your routine medications before the procedure (such as high blood pressure and diabetes medications). Stop aspirin and all anti-inflammatory medications (e.g. Motrin/Ibuprofen, Aleve, Relafen, Daypro) 3 days before the procedure. These medicines may be re-started the day after the procedure. You may take your regular pain medicine as needed before/after the procedure. If you are on coumadin, heparin, lovenex, plavix or ticlid you must notify our office so that the timing of stopping these medications can be explained. If you are on antibiotics please notify our office, we may wait to do the procedure. If you have an active infection or fever we will not do the procedure. You will be in the hospital as an out-patient for 2-3 hours even though you see the physician for 20 minutes. You will need to bring a driver with you. You may return to your current level of activities the next day including return to work.