Sacroiliac Joint Injections

What is a sacroiliac injection?

A sacroiliac injection is an injection of medication, usually steroids, into the sacroiliac joint, which is located on either side of the tailbone and connects to the pelvis. The steroid injected reduces inflammation and swelling of tissue in and around the joint space. This may in turn reduce pain, and other symptoms caused by inflammation or irritation of the joint and surrounding structures.

How is the sacroiliac injection done?

This is usually a procedure performed in the doctor’s office. X-ray guidance and local anesthesia are typical. In certain situations, some patients receive intravenous sedation, which can make the procedure easier to tolerate. The amount of sedation given generally depends upon the patient.The skin on the back is cleaned with antiseptic solution and then the skin may be numbed with local anesthetic. The injection needle is then directed to the proper position. Once in place, an injection of steroid and local anesthetic is carried out. After the injection, the needle is removed and a Band Aid is applied. The entire procedure usually takes less than 20 minutes.

What happens afterwards?

Immediately after the sacroiliac injection, you may feel that your pain may be gone or quite less. This will last only for a few hours until the anesthetic wears off. Your pain may return and you may have soreness at the injection site for a day or two. You should start noticing pain relief starting the 3rd to 5th day or so. You may have a ride home or drive yourself if you wish. However, all patients receiving sedation must have a ride home. We advise the patients to take it easy for a day or so after the procedure. You may want to apply ice to the affected area. You should perform only those activities you can reasonably tolerate. Unless there are complications, you should be able to return to your work the next day. The most common thing you may feel is soreness at the injection site. If there is no improvement in 10-14 days, you should see your pain physician for further options. If you respond to the injections and still have residual pain, you may be recommended for another sacroiliac injection.

Will the sacroiliac injection help me?

It is sometimes difficult to predict if the injection will indeed help you or not. The patients who have recent onset of pain may respond much better than the ones with longstanding pain. Sacroiliac joint injections are a minimally invasive, low risk procedure that can cause a significant decrease in symptoms without disrupting daily activities.

What are the risks and side effects of a sacroiliac injection?

Generally speaking, this procedure is safe. However, with any procedure there are possible complications. The most common side effect is temporary pain at the injection site. Uncommon risks involve infection, bleeding, nerve damage, or worsening of symptoms. The other uncommon risks are related to steroids, including weight gain, increase in blood sugar, water retention, immune system suppression, and suppression of body’s own natural production of cortisone.

Who should not have a sacroiliac injection?

If you are allergic to any of the medications to be injected, if you are on a blood thinning medication, if you have an active infection, if you are pregnant, or if you have poorly controlled diabetes or heart disease, you should speak with the doctor about your specific situation. You may need special instructions, lab testing, or perhaps need to reschedule.

Is a sacroiliac joint injection right for you?

If you suffer from chronic low back pain due to the sacroiliac joint or wish to find out if your sacroiliac joint is causing you pain, you may be a good candidate for this procedure. Contact us to find out more!

At PrairieShore™ Pain Center, our goal is to relieve your pain and improve your quality of life. If your primary physician has advised you to see a specialist for your pain, turn to us for help. To schedule your appointment, please contact us here or give us a call at (847) 883-0077.