Spinal Injections 101 – Sacroiliac Joint Injections
Category: Injections | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: February 2, 2017
Your sacroiliac joints are large joints that extends from your lower back and into your buttocks region. When compression occurs, it can cause painful sensations in the lower back, hip, buttocks or leg. One way to treat an issue with the sacroiliac joint is with a pain injection. Today, we take a look at how sacroiliac joint injections provide relief, and we explain how they are administered.
Benefits of a Sacroiliac Joint Injection
Your sacroiliac joints are located next to your lumbar spine and connect the sacrum with the hip on both sides. You have two sacroiliac joints, one on your right side and one on your left. When joint dysfunction occurs, you’ll notice pain in the area, shooting pain in the hips and legs, or pain while walking or bearing weight. Thankfully, SI joint injections are rather easy to perform, and they have a couple of benefits to both the patient and provider.
For starters, a sacroiliac joint injection is helpful because it can narrow down the source of your pain. When the numbing medication is injected into the joint, you’ll quickly know whether your pain is housed in the SI joint. If you’re experiencing pain after the joint is numbed, you pain is being caused by another issue in the area. Furthermore, the injection is beneficial because it provides both short-term and long-term relief. While it won’t solve all your problems, time-release cortisone inside the injection works to calm inflammation, which can provide pain relief even after the numbing agent wears off.
What To Expect During A Sacroiliac Joint Injection
Before the injection begins, a patient may be given an IV with relaxation medication in order to achieve partial sedation. The patient will then be placed on their stomach on an operating table. A member of the surgical team will cleanse and apply a numbing agent to the injection site. With the assistance of a live x-ray (Fluoroscopy), the surgeon will guide the needle into the sacroiliac joint. Once in position, the surgeon will injection a small mixture of numbing medication and an anti-inflammatory cortisone into the joint.
After the injection is completed, which should only take 15-30 minutes, your surgeon will ask you to perform an action that would typically trigger a pain sensation, like standing or walking. If this action is accompanied by pain, you’ll learn that your SI joint isn’t actually your source of pain. If you aren’t experiencing pain, than your SI joint is the guilty party.
After A Sacroiliac Injection
You may notice some numbness in the leg on the corresponding side of your body, so it is recommended that you arrange a ride home after your procedure. You may also notice an increase in pain a couple days after the injection as the numbing agent wears off, but hopefully the anti-inflammatory compounds work and your pain is less than it was prior to your procedure. In the first few days after the procedure, ice and pain relief pills can help provide relief for any discomfort, and your surgeon may recommend that you begin strengthening exercises and physical therapy or manipulation therapy to help keep pain at bay.
For more information on the injection, contact Dr. Sinicropi today.