Sacroiliac Joint Injections
The sacroiliac joints are the joints that connect your pelvis to your lower spine (lower back). Either too much or too little movement in one of the SI joints can cause lower back pain and/or leg pain. See sacroiliac joint dysfunction for more details.
A sacroiliac joint injection is both a diagnostic and a therapeutic injection. The procedure begins with the patient lying on his or her stomach. The area around the sacroiliac joint is numbed with a local anesthetic. Through the anesthetized area, a needle is then placed intra-articularly into the sacroiliac joint under fluoroscopic guidance. Once the needle is placed into the joint, contrast is injected to confirm that the needle is in the joint. Once needle placement is confirmed, the joint is injected with an anesthetic and a steroid. This injection is both diagnostic and therapeutic. The anesthetic injected into the joint is diagnostic while the steroid is therapeutic. This means that the patient will experience temporary pain relief following the injection if the joint is the source of their pain. Once the anesthetic wears off, the pain from the joint will return. The therapeutic steroid then takes 1 to 2 weeks before it starts to work to give the patient longer lasting pain relief. Each patient responds differently to steroids. This means that patients may receive pain relief for several days to years depending on their individual response.