Sacroiliac Joint Injection
Physical/Rehab Medicine services
Sacroiliac Joint Injection
What/where is this joint? The S-I joint connects 2 bones of the pelvis- the Sacrum and Ilium. This joint is located in the lowest region of the back where the spine joints the pelvis. Sacroiliac (SI) joint pain or dysfunction is a common source of pain in the low back, buttocks, groin and legs. However, there are many structures that can cause pain in these regions. The SI joint injection have a dual, diagnostic and therapeutic, purpose that allows the physician to confirm that irritation or damage to the SI joint is the source of your symptoms and also offer significant pain relief.
How does SI joint injection help?
SI joints connect the pelvis bones to the spine. They are small and don’t move much, but they absorb all the forces of the lower body before balancing and transferring the weight to the upper body. When these joints are not working properly or if injured or irritated they can cause chronic discomfort and pain.
SI joint injections can accurately pinpoint and alleviate this pain. Guided by fluoroscopy (x-ray imaging) or Ultrasound, the physician injects a mix of local anesthetic and long lasting corticosteroid into the affected SI joint. This strong, long-acting medicine reduces inflammation and provides pain relief over an extended period of time. This is an outpatient procedure that typically requires 20 to 30 minutes, including preparation time, and is followed by a short period of observed recovery time.
How often should this procedure be done?
Up to three injections may be given within a 6 month time frame, usually performed two to 3 weeks apart. You may, however, gain considerable to complete relief after the first or second injection.
What are the expected results?
Immediate but temporary pain relief (lasting a few hours) may occur from the local anesthetic. The benefit from the corticosteroid medicine will typically occur two to four days following the procedure and last for several months.
Patients who do not smoke, are at their ideal body weight, have good nutrition, exercise, and good sleep habits tend to respond MUCH better than those with chronic illness.
Although they are not a cure, SI joint injections are very effective in reducing inflammation of the joint and providing considerable to complete pain relief for an extended period of time. For even longer lasting benefits, advanced, regenerative procedures, such as prolotherapy and platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy may be recommended. These innovative techniques promote healing and the potential for permanent improvement. And those who participate in an integrative or team approach, utilizing multiple modalities-like Physical Therapy, Chiropractic/Osteopathic manipulation, Massage Therapy and Acupuncture also benefit more with the injections.