Sacroiliac Joint Steroid Injection

This injection procedure is performed to relieve pain caused by arthritis in the sacroiliac joint where the spine and hip bone meet. The steroid medication can reduce swelling and inflammation in the joint.

How is the procedure performed?

The patient lies face down. A cushion is placed under the stomach for comfort and to arch the back. The physician uses touch and a fluoroscope to find the sacroiliac joint. A local anesthetic numbs the skin and all the tissue down to the surface of the sacroiliac joint. The physician advances a needle through the anesthetized track and into the sacroiliac joint. A steroid-anesthetics mix is injected into the sacroiliac joint, bathing the painful area in medication. The needle is removed and a small bandage is used to cover the tiny surface wound.

What are the risks?

The most common side effect is temporary pain at the injection site. Uncommon risks include bleeding, infection or worsening of symptoms.

Will the injection hurt?

The skin and deeper tissues are numbed with a local anesthetic. Many people experience discomfort or pain. Some patients receive sedation that can make it easier to tolerate.

How will I feel after the injection?

After the procedure, you may feel sudden relief or that your pain has substantially decreased. This will normally last for a few hours or until the local anesthetic wears off. You should notice relief in pain between 3-5 days after the injection.

What daily restrictions will I have?

You should have a ride to and from your appointment because the injection could cause some temporary weakness in the legs if the medication spreads to the sciatic nerve in front of the joint. All patients receiving sedation must have a ride home. We advise patient to rest and take it easy for the first day or two following the procedure. Return to normal activities when you can tolerate them.

When should I call my doctor?

If you have severe back pain, new numbness or weakness in your legs, or signs of infection at the injection site (redness, swelling or bleeding), you should contact us right away.