Why is this procedure done?
A sacroiliac joint injection may be useful in several ways. First, by placing anesthetic (numbing medication) into the joint, the amount of immediate pain relief you experience will help confirm or deny the joint as a source of your pain. To explain further, if you obtain complete relief of your “main” pain while the sacroiliac joint is numb, then this joint is likely your pain source. Additionally, steroid will be injected into the joint, to reduce any inflammation, which can provide long-term pain relief.

How do I prepare for this procedure?
You should not eat for 4 hours before the procedure. You can take any routine medications before the procedure. You will need to bring a driver to take you home. If you have any changes in your medical condition or are feeling sick, you should contact our office to inform our staff. You should stop all blood thinners, such as: Coumadin, Plavix, aspirin and most arthritis medications. You should stop herbal medicines and supplements one week before the procedure.

What happens during this procedure?
For a sacroiliac joint injection you will lie on the exam table on your stomach. Please stay as still as you can. The skin over the injection site(s) is cleaned. A local anesthetic numbs the skin. After the numbing medicine has been given time to be effective, the physician directs a small needle, using x-ray guidance into the sacroiliac joint. A contrast “dye” may be injected into the joint to confirm placement. Then, a small mixture of numbing medicine (anesthetic) and anti-inflammatory (cortisone/steroid) is injected.

What are the side effects?
In general, a sacroiliac joint injection is a very safe procedure. Serious side effects or complications are rare with sacroiliac joint injections. However, similar to all injection procedures adverse effects are possible. The risks include but are not limited to: allergic reaction to the medication, bruising at the injection site, and infection. To help prevent infection the procedure is performed under sterile conditions. Please discuss any specific concerns with your physician.

What happens after this procedure?
After the procedure, you will be able to go home and rest. You may do desk or table level activities. You should not return to work until the next day. You will need a driver to take you home. If you are sore after the injection, you may apply ice to the area.

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