Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Injections

As a normal part of the aging process, the bony structures of the spine stiffen and lose flexibility. The sacroiliac joints are small joints in the region of the low back and buttocks where the pelvis actually joins with the spine. The sacroiliac joints are responsible for the articulation, or movement, between the sacrum and the main bones of the pelvis. If the joints become painful they may cause pain in the low back, buttocks, abdomen, groin or legs. Your doctor has recommended an SI joint injection.

Understanding the Sacroiliac Joint Injection Procedure

Under fluoroscopy (x-ray guidance machine) , a small amount of material is injected to distend, or expand, the sacroiliac joint capsule. You will be asked to identify if this has reproduced discomfort similar to your own. Subsequently, an anesthetic agent is given to temporarily block the pain. If ordered by your doctor, a long acting steroid pain reliever may also be administered.

Remember, it is important for you to come to the appointment with your typical pain. We ask that you do not take any pain medication after midnight the night before the injection.

Sacroiliac Injection Recovery

Be aware that the anesthetic will take several hours to wear off. It is imperative that you have someone to drive you home, as you may experience some temporary loss of sensation and may find your motor coordination a bit awkward or weak. Otherwise, you may resume your regular activities the following day.

Sacroiliac Injections Risks

Like all injections, there is a very small risk of bleeding, infection or allergic reaction. You will be asked to report any allergies at the time your injection is scheduled. This information is necessary for your doctor to know in advance. Substitutions or modifications to the medications may be necessary.

The steroid medication can cause a temporary increase in blood sugar levels. If you are diabetic, you'll need to monitor your glucose levels more frequently for 4-5 days following the injection.

On rare occasions, there may be other complications. If you have concerns, you should discuss them with your doctor. You may call (404) 778-7000 if you have any questions.

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