Sacroiliac Joint Injection Information

What is the sacroiliac joint and why are sacroiliac joint injections helpful?

The sacroiliac joint is a large joint in the region of your low back and buttocks where your pelvis actually joins with the spine. There is a joint on both the right and left side of your spine. If the joints become painful they may cause pain in your low back, buttocks, abdomen, groin and legs.

A sacroiliac join injection serves several purposes. First, by placing numbing medicine into the joint, the amount of immediate pain relief you experience will hep confirm or deny the joint as a source of your pain. Additionally, the temporary relief of the numbing medicine may better allow a chiropractor or physical therapist to treat that joint. Also, time release cortisone (steroid) will help reduce any inflammation that you may have within your joint(s).

What will happen to me during the procedure?

You will be placed on the X-ray table on your stomach in such a way that your doctor can best visualize these sacroiliac joint using x-ray guidance. The skin on your back will be scrubbed using 2 types of sterile scrub (soap). Next, the physician will numb a small area of skin with numbing medicine. This medicine stings for several seconds. After the numbing medicine has ben given time to be effective, your doctor will direct a very small needle using x-ray guidance into the joint. A small amount of contrast (dye) is then injected to insure proper needle position inside the joint space. Then, a small mixture of numbing medicine (anesthetic) and anti-inflammatory (cortisone/steroid) will be injected. One of both joints may be injected depending on the location of your usual pain.

What will happen after the procedure?

Immediately after the procedure, you will get up and walk around and try to imitate something that would normally bring about your usual pain. You will then report the percentage of pain relief and record the relief you experienced during the next week on a post injection evaluation sheet (diary). This will be given to you when you are discharged home.

You will not be able to drive the day of your procedure. Your legs may feel weak or numb for a few hours. You may be referred to a chiropractor or physical therapist immediately afterwards while the numbing medicine is still working.

General Pre/Post Instructions

You should eat a light meal within a few hours before your procedure. If you are an insulin dependent diabetic, do not change your normal eating pattern prior to the procedure. Please take your routine medications (i.e. high blood pressure and diabetic medications). If you are prescribed an anti-inflammatory, you need to stop taking these medications 5 days prior to the date of the procedure.

These medications can be restarted after the procedure if they are needed. If you are on Coumadin, Heparin, Plavix or any other blood thinners (including Aspirin), or the diabetic medication Glucophage you must notify this office so the timing of these medications can be explained. Your injection will be doing here in the surgical suite of our office and please plan to be here at least 2 hours for your procedure. YOU WILL NEED A DRIVER WITH YOU. You may return to your normal activities the day after the procedure, including returning the work.

If you are unable to keep this appointment, please give notice as soon as possible and at least 24 hours in advance. Thank you.