Sacroiliac Joint Injections

Diseases for which injection may help:

  • Arthritis
  • Arthopathy
  • Sacraliliitis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis

Reason for injection:

  • This steroid injection is given into the sacral iliac joint, which is located in the back where the pelvic bones form a joint with the sarcum
  • The injection helps decrease pain and inflammation in the joint
  • Conservative measures such as ice, rest, anti-inflammatory medication, neuropathic medication, and physical therapy are tried first
  • Goal of injection is to reduce pain
  • Sometimes these procedures help reduce the need for pain medication and allow you to stop your pain medication(s) completely or even delay or prevent surgery

Description of procedure:

  • Performed in a surgery center as an outpatient procedure at Moores Cancer Center
  • Check in 30 minutes before procedure; staff will answer any questions before procedure
  • Your back will be cleaned with antiseptic solution and an x-ray will identify spot for injection
  • Local anesthetic numbs the skin and a needle will be used to enter the epidural space
  • Small amount of x-ray contrast will be injected into the needle to confirm needle is in right place
  • Some patients feel pressure in the back or down their legs when medication is injection
  • A small Band-Aid will be applied to your back and you will be taken back to recovery
  • Discharge instructions will be reviewed and you will be able to go home as soon as you are ready
  • If your pain relief is greater than 50 percent in the recovery area, you will be given the option of scheduling a radiofrequency procedure or return visit to the clinic

Medications used for the injection:

  • Corticosteroids, such as Methylprednisolone, Dexamethasone, or Betamethosone are injected into the area of pain because they decrease the inflammation
  • Local anesthetics, such as Lidocaine or Bupivicaine, are also used to decrease pain

Pre-op instructions:

  • Suggested you have a driver
  • Review all your medication with us before the procedure
  • If you take medication that affect your ability to form a blood clot (anticoagulants, such as Coumadin, Plavix, Lovenox) a specific plan should be in place - consult with physician
  • All other medications should be taken as normal unless your physician tells you otherwise
  • If you have any questions about your medications, please call the pain clinic 858-657-6035

Post-op instructions:

  • Take it easy day of injection and return back to normal activity the following day
  • You may return to physical therapy after the injection, but let your therapist know you have undergone procedure

Potential side effects or risks:

  • Site of injection can be sore after
  • Patients who have diabetes can have an increase in their blood sugar due to the steroid injected. Close attention to blood sugars should be maintained for about one week after the procedure.
  • Other risks include nerve damage, infection, and bleeding
  • If you have any specific questions about these risks, please speak with your doctor before the
    procedure

Follow up and further care:

  • After the procedure you will be given instructions on how and when to follow up
  • If another physician referred you directly to the procedure clinic, you will be asked to follow up with them
  • If this is injection improves your pain, it can be repeated if the pain returns
  • The exact interval between injections will be discussed with your physician
  • Other treatment recommendations are based on your response

Center for Pain Medicine
Perlman Medical Offices
9350 Campus Point Drive, Suite 2C
La Jolla, CA 91111
858-657-6035
and 858-822-6110