Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Injections are a minimally invasive outpatient procedure to relieve chronic pain caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction. A condition characterized by pain and discomfort in the lower back, buttocks, groin, and legs.
It’s not well known, but studies have shown that up to 25% of low back pain comes from a problem in the SI joint. So it’s always a good idea when the Boulder pain management doctor evaluates for the presence of sacroiliac joint pain.
What conditions are treatable with Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Injections?
Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Injections are most commonly used therapeutically to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with sacroiliac joint dysfunction. The injections are also used diagnostically to determine if the pain and discomfort a patient is experiencing is indeed due to sacroiliac joint dysfunction or if there is another underlying cause of the pain ([Injection of anaesthetic-corticosteroid to relieve sacroiliac joint pain after lumbar stabilisation] 2012).
How is the Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Injection procedure performed?
The Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Injection procedure is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure and typically takes less than half an hour to perform, followed by a short period of observation for side effects. The patient lies prone on a table and has their vital signs monitored. They may be sedated, although still conscious, to help them relax during the procedure.
The area to be injected is cleaned thoroughly and numbed by topical anesthetics. Contrast dye may be administered to identify the injection site, then through the use of a fluoroscope (an x-ray machine), to ensure proper needle placement. A mixture of local anesthetics and corticosteroids are injected. After the injection procedure, you will be moved to an observation area to watch for any allergic reactions.
The SI joint can be tricky to enter due to the underlying arthritis and the unusual angle of entry. Pain doctors in Boulder, Greeley and Loveland with Colorado Clinic have extensive experience in the administration of SI joint injections.
What are expectations when a patient receives the Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Injection procedure?
For many patients relief may occur almost immediately, this is usually due to the local anesthetic. The full effects of the injection however may not be felt for awhile, possibly days after the injection. Some patients may experience a slight temporary increase in pain at the injection site. This is caused by the pressure created by introducing the medications into the area or by the needle used for the injection (Sacroiliac joint imaging.2012).
How long do the Sacroiliac (SI) Joint injections last?
The effectiveness of the injections varies from patient to patient, but most patients experience relief from pain for several months after the procedure. Some patients may require repeated injections before the full benefit is felt.
Any medical procedure will have some level of risk, although risks associated with Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Injections are small. These risks may include:
- Swelling or bruising at the injection site (common)
- Bleeding at the injection site (common but typically only slight)
- Infection at the injection site (uncommon)
- Tissue damage at the injection site (uncommon)
- Nerve damage at the injection site (very uncommon)
How successful is the treatment for the relief of pain?
Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Injections are typically very effective for relieving chronic pain. However some patients may experience a higher or lower level of relief than others. Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Injections may be the treatment to help you find relief from your chronic pain. To determine if you are a candidate for the procedure discuss with your Northern Colorado pain management doctor if the Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Injection procedure is right for you.