Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Injection

  • Purpose  To determine if back pain is coming from the SI joint, and to give pain relief.
  • Overview  Injections deliver anesthetic and anti-inflammatory (cortisone) medications. The anesthetic assists in diagnosis and gives immediate relief lasting for hours.  The anti-inflammatory usually lasts a few months.  This procedure is typically done with image guidance.
  • Before the procedure The anti-inflammatory solution may increase blood sugars. Consult your primary care doctor or endocrinologist before this procedure if you have a history of elevated blood sugars.
  • Details The procedure begins with the sterilization of the skin where the injection will take place. Once the accurate location of the injection is determined, the anesthetic and anti-inflammatory solutions are injected directly into the joint space.
  • After the procedure There may be numbness or pain at the injection site that can last 2-3 hours. Redness and a feeling of warmth may be experienced. Apply ice as needed to relieve any pain from the injection and protect the injection area for a couple of days by avoiding strenuous activity. It is important to be aware of heightened pain, redness and swelling that lasts more than two days.
  • Potential complications – Osteonecrosis (death of nearby bone), infection, nerve damage, thinning of skin and tissue surrounding the injection site, pain and inflammation of the joint, tendon weakening or rupture, osteoporosis (nearby bone thinning), and skin discoloration around the injection site. Due to potential complications, physicians will limit the number of injections given to a patient based on the joint and the reason for treatment.

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