FAQ’s on Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Injections in Las Vegas

The sacroiliac (SI) joints connect the spine to the pelvis, and they are located where the lower spine (sacrum) connects to the left and right iliac bones. A sacroiliac joint injection involves injecting the SI joints with a corticosteroid and anesthetic agent. These injections are used to treat sacroiliac arthritis.

What causes arthritis of the SI joints?

SI joints support the entire upper body’s weight. The weight puts a lot of stress on the sacroiliac joints. Arthritis develops because of wear-and-tear on the SI joints. Obesity is a big contributing factor to arthritis development. Other types of SI joint conditions include SI joint strain, inflammation, and dysfunction.

What is the purpose of an SI joint injection?

The SI joint injection is done for the purpose of diagnosing joint dysfunction. The doctor will first inject a numbing agent to identify the source of the pain. Additionally, the SI injection is used treat SI joint arthritis through injection of a corticosteroid into the SI joint. This helps decrease inflammation and provide long-term pain relief.

How does the doctor perform the SI joint injection?

Before the procedure, a nurse will go over the pros and cons of the procedure and ask you to sign a consent form. Pillows are positioned under your abdomen, and you are placed on your stomach. The lower back region is cleaned with an antiseptic solution, and then the skin is numbed with an anesthetic. The procedure needle is inserted into the SI joint using real-time x-ray. After the medication is injected into the joint, the needle is then removed. Both joints can be injected into these joints if necessary.

What can I expect after the procedure?

The injection site will have some soreness as the anesthetic wears off. Some people report temporary loss sensations at the site of injection, slow motor coordination, and weakness of the legs and hips. The side effects will resolve in after a few hours, however. After the procedure, a nurse monitors the patient for around 15 minutes. We recommend that you rest a few hours and slowly return to normal activities as tolerated.

Will my pain be relieved after the SI joint injection?

Sometimes, sacroiliac joint injections cause more pain, and not all injections relieve pain. Increased pain is rare, but it can occur. This is only a temporary occurrence. Once the medication has a chance to work. If the site becomes painful several days after an injection, this is a sign of infection. Alert the doctor should this occur.

How SI joint injections are needed to arthritis?

A corticosteroid is a long-acting anti-inflammatory drug used for long-term pain relief. This medication begins working after 2-3 days. The majority of patients have pain relief after only one joint to each hips. However, some people require a series of three injections to each of the SI joints. These injections are spaced over a six-month period.

What are the complications and risks of the SI joint injection?

There are just a few risks associated with the sacroiliac joint injection. These include infection, bleeding, and allergic reaction. Because corticosteroid agents are used, the side effects include increased appetite, weight gain, moodiness, and anxiety, and trouble sleeping.

Are SI joint injections effective?

According to clinical studies, SI joint injections have a 90% success rate for relieving SI arthritis symptoms. Based on research reports, sacroiliac joints are safe and effective for treating chronic arthritis.

Resources

Sahin O, Harman A, Akgun RC & Tuncay IC (2012). An intraarticular sacroiliac steroid injection under the guidance of computed tomography for relieving sacroiliac joint pain: A clinical outcome study with two years of follow-up. Archives of Rheumatology, 27(3): 165-173. DOI: 10.5606/tjr.2012.028