Sacroiliac Joint Steroid Injection : Procedure : A sacroiliac joint injection, also called a sacroiliac joint block is used to diagnose or treat low back pain and/or symptoms of sciatica associated with sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
It is designed to diagnose and treat pain from sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
The sacroiliac joints are located at the bottom of the spine on each side of the sacrum and they connect the sacrum with the hip on both sides.
They can cause lower back pain and/or leg pain when there is too much or too little movement in one of the sacroiliac joints.
A sacroiliac joint injection can be used as diagnostic and pain relieving treatment to confirm if indeed the sacroiliac joint is the source of the pain and also used to provide long-lasting pain relief.
A diagnostic sacroiliac joint injection is used to confirm if the sacroiliac joint is the source of the pain.
This is done by numbing the sacroiliac joint with a local anesthetic (numbing agent) such as lidocaine. When the numbing medication is injected into the joint, you will be asked to try and reproduce the pain by performing activities that usually cause you pain.
If you experience 75-80% pain relief for the normal duration of the anesthetic, a tentative diagnosis is made.
A second diagnostic sacroiliac injection is also performed using a different numbing medication such as Bupivacaine in order to confirm the first diagnosis.
After the second numbing agent is injected, you will also be asked to try to do activities that usually cause you pain. If you also experience 75-80% pain relief, it proves that the sacroiliac joint is indeed the source of your pain. Your doctor will then perform a more longer-lasting pain-relieving treatment.
Pain Relieving use
After your doctor has confirmed that the sacroiliac joint is the source of your pain, a medication for longer-lasting pain relief is provided.
The injection is delivered using the same technique as a diagnostic injection. The only difference is the corticosteroids (anti-inflammatory medication) included to provide longer-lasting pain relief by reducing inflammation in the joint.
Your doctor may also suggest that you begin a physical therapy and rehabilitation program to further reduce your pain and enable you to return to normal activity.
If you experience successful pain relief after therapeutic sacroiliac joint injection, you may need to repeat it up to three times per year for longer-lasting pain relief.
Sacroiliac joint injection procedure
You will be asked to lie down on your stomach so that your doctor can access your back.
Your vitals such as pulse rate and blood pressure will be monitored throughout the procedure.
An intravenous IV line may be administered to deliver medication to help you relax throughout the procedure.
The skin where the needle will be inserted will be cleansed using an iodine-based solution or an alcohol-based antiseptic.
The area around the sacroiliac joint will be numbed by injecting a local anesthetic to reduce pain.
Using fluoroscopy guidance, your doctor will direct the needle into the sacroiliac joint. A contrast dye will be injected to allow your doctor to see the area more clearly.
When the needle is in the right position, a diagnostic local anesthetic (numbing agent) such as lidocaine is injected. When the numbing medication is injected into the joint, you will be asked to try and reproduce the pain by performing activities that usually cause you pain.
A diagnosis is made if you experience 75-80% pain relief when the anesthetic was injected.
After the diagnostic medications are delivered, a therapeutic medication that contains corticosteroids is injected into the joint.
The corticosteroids provide pain relief in the sacroiliac joint over a longer period of time, possibly for several months.
After the procedure
After the medications are delivered, you will be monitored for about 30 minutes to ensure that there are no immediate complications or adverse reactions.
You can go back home if there are no complications or adverse reactions.
You may be advised to drink plenty of water to help flush out the dye used.
Avoid excessive and strenuous activities for 24 hours after the injection.
Someone will have to drive you back home because you’re not allowed to drive after the injection.
Possible Risks of Sacroiliac Joint Injection
Risks from sacroiliac joint injection are relatively minor and occur infrequently.
Risks that may occur include:
- Possible allergic reaction to the medication used
- Bruising or soreness at the injection site
- Infection at the injection site
- Infection at the deeper tissues, or in the joint
How successful are sacroiliac joint injections?
Sacroiliac joint injection is an effective long-lasting treatment for joint pain. Sacroiliac joint injection can provide long-lasting pain relief. It can also help your doctor determine the source of your pain. Most people can experience pain relief for several months after having the injection.