Upstate Carolina Radiology

Sacroiliac Joint Block

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sacroiliacThe Sacroiliac Joint (SI Joint) is the joint connecting the sacrum and the Ilium or iliac bones (two bones that make up each side of the pelvis). Pain from this joint normally presents in the lower back, groin, thigh and/or buttocks. The pain may increase with walking but will not be below the knee if associates with the sacroiliac joint. The SI joint pain could be due to trauma, pressure, wear and tear, arthritis, or numerous other factors.

Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Blocks are injections that target the specific SI joint that is causing significant pain in the lower back, groin, and/or buttocks. This injection provides a steroid, anti-inflammatory agent, and anesthetic, for immediate pain relief. Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Blocks are very similar procedures to Epidural Injections, except this injection specifically targets the joint versus the general area of discomfort. The SI joint block can also be used as a diagnostic tool to determine if the SI joint is in fact the source of the pain.

How is This Procedure Performed?

The patient will be brought to the procedure room and be comfortably placed on the procedure table. The injection area will be sterilized and drapes will be put in place to keep the area clean. A local anesthetic, or numbing agent, will be administered to lessen discomfort from the actual injection. A needle will be inserted into the appropriate point of interest and guided to the precise SI joint using fluoroscopy “real-time” imaging.  A dye will be injected to confirm the accurate location and then the medication will be injected. Once the injection is complete, the skin will be cleaned once more and a band-aid applied to cover the injection point.

What Should I Expect After the Injection?

Patients may be monitored for a short time to ensure that the procedure was received well. The patient may have slight discomfort from the fluid pressure, but should have maximum benefit from the medicine within approximately seven days. There may be immediate relief, or numbness, from the local anesthetic that will wear off shortly. A driver should accompany the patient to the facility to take them home safely.

Please consult your physician if you experience any side effect, such as painful headache; fever of over 101; loss of function or feeling in arms or legs; loss of bowel or bladder control; and severe pain not controlled by over-the-counter pain medications.