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Sacroiliac Joint Steroid Injections

The sacroiliac joint Injection injection is an outpatient procedure for treating low back and buttock pain.

The Sacroiliac joints (SIJoints) connect your spine to your hip bone. They connect the bottom of the spine, called the sacrum, to the outer part of the hip bone, called the ilium. You have two sacroiliac joints, one on each side of the sacrum. SI joints help control your pelvis when you move.

If your SI joint becomes injured, it may feel like simple muscle tension, but at other times the pain can be severe. Sometimes the cartilage inside the joint is injured, but at other times only the ligaments around the joint are affected. You generally feel SI joint pain in an area from your low back down to your buttocks. But if a joint is very inflamed, pain may even extend down the back of the leg.

If you have pain in one or more of these areas you may have SI joint pain. Common tests such as x-rays or MRIs may not always show if a sacroiliac joint is causing pain. Your pain doctor may perform other tests to determine if you have sacroiliac joint pain.

In a SI joint injection, a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid are injected into one or both of your sacroiliac joints, or into the ligaments surrounding the joints. The local anesthetic lessens your pain temporarily. The corticosteroid reduces inflammation that may be causing pain. The injection can be used for diagnosis and treatment.

An IV is inserted to administer intravenous medication(s) to help you relax. A local anesthetic may be used to numb your skin. The doctor will insert a thin needle directly into the SI joint. Fluoroscopy, a type of x-ray, is generally used to ensure a safe and proper position for the needle. Once correctly placed, the medicine will be injected.

The amount and duration of pain relief you experience is dependent on many factors including underlying pathology and activity level. Some can have relief that lasts for years, while others have short-term relief. Usually a series of injections, often three, each spaced a week or two apart, are given.

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