Sacroiliac Joint Injections 101
The sacroiliac joint is located where the bottom of the spine meets the pelvis. Injecting medicine into this area can treat local pain if other treatment methods have proven unhelpful.
The sacroiliac joints stabilize the spine. However, inflammation, injury, or regular wear and tear can cause pain in the area. Sacroiliac joint injections include a local anesthetic combined with steroids. Dr. Lewis at Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic may recommend this treatment along with physiotherapy and other non-invasive treatments.
Diagnosis of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
Sacroiliac injections are sometimes used as a diagnostic tool for joint dysfunction. During this procedure, lidocaine or another local anesthetic numbs the area before the doctor performs the procedure under x-ray guidance to ensure accuracy. Dr. Lewis places the needle into the joint and injects contrast to ensure the proper distribution of the medication. Then, the medicine is injected to relieve pain in the area.
Following the injection, Dr. Lewis will ask you to reproduce movements that typically cause pain. Many patients report 75 to 80% pain relief. This can help confirm an SI joint dysfunction diagnosis. Additionally, a second injection that results in the same level of pain relief can confirm sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
Sacroiliac Joint Injections for Pain Relief
As a purely therapeutic tool, SI joint injections provide relief from pain deriving from dysfunction of the sacroiliac joint. The procedure is the same as a diagnostic SI injection. However, corticosteroids are used to reduce pain and inflammation in the joint.
If you experience pain relief following the injection, you may be eligible for rehabilitation and physical therapy to regain functionality. If sacroiliac joint injections reduce or eliminate your pain over a long period of time, you can receive them every four months for safe relief of localized pain. Further, Dr. Lewis may prescribe a rehabilitation program so that you can resume everyday activities.
What to Expect After SI Joint Injections
After you receive the sacroiliac joint injection, you should notice an improvement in your pain. You may have injection site soreness and related pain for 48 hours following the procedure. The steroids sometimes take two or three days to fully kick in. You may also have weakness or numbness in your legs due to the anesthetic.
How Long Does the Injection Take to Work?
You will notice a difference almost immediately. Patients report an immediate reduction in pain. Once the anesthesia wears off, some or all of the pain may return.
Are There Any Potential Complications?
You may experience some complications following the sacroiliac joint injection, including the following:
- Injection site infections
- Injection site pain
- Allergy to the local anesthetic
- Increased pain
- A drop in blood pressure
- Higher blood sugar levels
During a consultation with Dr. Lewis, you can tell him about your specific symptoms. He may recommend other treatment strategies prior to suggesting sacroiliac joint injections or any other more invasive procedures.
Contact the Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic to find out if sacroiliac joint injections can provide relief for your pain. Call us at (601) 366-1011 today to make an appointment. We’ll find a solution that works for you.