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Sacroiliac Joint Injection

The sacroiliac joints (SI) are paired structures (on the right and left) that connect the spine to the pelvis and allow for motion. The SI joint, like other joints in the body, is surrounded by a capsule that contains lubricating fluid. SI joint motion allows us to walk upright, to lift, and to carry. Occasionally, the SI joint motion unit can become dysfunctional (for a variety of reasons), causing pain.

What is a SI Joint Injection?

SI joint pain may originate from within the joint itself or from surrounding structures, such as the SI ligament. An SI joint injection may be given around the joint—periarticular injection or within the joint—intra-articular injection. Typically, corticosteroids mixed with anesthetics are used.

Intra-articular injections. These injections are given within the synovial capsule of the joint.

Periarticular injections. These injections usually target the nerves in the posterior pelvis since the majority of the neural innervation of the SI joint is concentrated in the region behind the joint. These injections are given in the fibrous, ligamentous area of the joint.

What to expect during a SI Joint Injection procedure

This minimally invasive procedure will be performed by our specialist using a small needle and fluoroscopic X-ray) guidance. First an anesthetic will be injected to numb the site of the pain. Next, contrast or dye will be injected to ensure proper needle placement. Finally, the corticosteroid will be injected, and you may feel some slight pressure within the joint. The procedure will take 20-30 minutes.

What to expect after a SI Joint Injection procedure

Diagnostic SI injections may provide temporary relief and will end in about an hour or so. You may be asked to reproduce the pain and rate the relief.

Therapeutic injections can take a few days to feel relief and may remain for days, weeks, or months, depending on the amount of injury to the site. It is common to repeat these injections to provide further relief. You may feel some soreness around the injection site, and this can be remedied by applying ice as needed.

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