Sacro-illiac Joint Pain

What is sacroiliac joint?

The sacroiliac joint is a common source of buttock, groin, and leg pain, especially in females. It is a strong weight-bearing joint, which absorbs the weight of the upper body.

Pain deriving from the SI joint is often missed as a diagnosis or instead is diagnosed as a nerve impingement, hip joint pain, facet joint pain, or muscle pain. Patients could spend months in therapy without much improvement or even undergo surgery for the diagnosis of nerve impingement.

If the buttock, groin, and leg pain does not improve for months, it is important to look at the sacroiliac joint.

Why is a sacroiliac joint injection helpful?

A sacroiliac joint injection is the only proven method to determine the definite diagnosis of sacroiliac joint pain. By placing numbing medicine into the joint, the amount of immediate pain relief you experience will confirm or deny the joint as a source of your pain.

Administering time-release cortisone reduces any presumed inflammation within your joint and treats your pain at the same time. Also, the pain relief from the numbing medicine could better allow a physical therapist to treat the joint.

It is important to know that the sacroiliac joint injection cannot be safely and precisely administered without fluoroscopic monitoring. Without fluoroscopy, the joint is missed in more than 75% of cases.

What will happen to me during the procedure?

After the doctor has administered an intravenous pain reliever, you will lie on your stomach. The skin over your buttocks will be well cleaned. Next, the physician will numb a small area of skin, which stings for a few seconds.

Next, the physician will use fluoroscopic guidance to direct a very small needle into the joint, and then he will inject contrast dye to confirm that the medicine enters the joint. Then, a small amount of numbing medicine and anti-inflammatory cortisone will be slowly injected.

What will happen to me after the procedure?

You will rest in the recovery area for 30 minutes before going home. Your heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored. You will be given instructions regarding your pain, activity, driving, etc.

The doctor will monitor your pain response. If the pain goes away, the sacroiliac joint is the source of your pain and you have been treated at the same time. If the pain is not relieved, your sacroiliac joint is likely not the source of your pain, in which case your doctor will work with you to look for other causes of your pain.

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