The pelvis is made up of two hip bones located and fused on either side of the sacrum, the last section of the backbone. Each hip bone is comprised of three bones fused together – the ilium, ischium, and pubis. The sacroiliac joints are the two joints present in your lower back where the sacrum and ilium join. These joints may become painful and inflamed due to various conditions.
A sacroiliac joint injection is a mixture of an anesthetic that blocks pain impulses and a steroid that reduces inflammation and is a conservative treatment to relieve these symptoms.
The sacroiliac joints help bear your body’s weight while standing and may become painful and inflamed due to stress and certain medical conditions leading to pain in the lower back, buttocks, hips, groin, and legs. The pain may increase with certain activities and movements.
Sacroiliac joint injections are usually indicated to treat sacroiliac joint dysfunction not relieved by other conservative treatment options.
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction has many causes including:
It can also occur when an abnormal gait is present in cases of polio, injury to one of the legs or feet, limb length discrepancy, or walking with crutches or a cane.
Sacroiliac joint injection is an X-ray-guided procedure performed under sedation while lying face down on an X-ray table.
Your doctor will prescribe medication and ice pack applications to help relieve any pain and soreness at the injection site.
You are advised not to drive, bathe or shower immediately after the procedure. The anesthetic in the injection usually has an immediate effect. The steroid component will start to show effects in 2-3 days.
X-ray-guided sacroiliac joint injections are advantageous as they provide significant pain relief when medications and other conservative treatments are inadequate and surgery is not recommended. The procedure is minimally invasive and may be repeated 3 times a year.
Risks and complications with this procedure are rare and include bleeding, bruising, infection, allergic reaction, and headache.
X-ray-guided sacroiliac joint injections are targeted specifically at the sacroiliac joint to help alleviate the disabling symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction when other conservative methods have failed.