Sacro-iliac Joint Injections
The sacro-iliac joint is a large joint in the pelvis between the sacrum (terminal portion of the spine ending in the tailbone) and the iliac crest. Sacro-iliac joint dysfunction is common in women, after trauma, or with pelvic girdle dysfunction. An injection of steroid to the area can calm inflammation and relieve pain. Local anesthetic is commonly injected along with steroid to aid in the diagnosis of sacro-iliac joint dysfunction. If the patient experiences several hours of dramatic relief while the local anesthetic is active, then it is very likely that the sacro-iliac joint is a significant source of pain. In order to achieve maximum effect, often repeated injections are needed.
Side effects of Sacro-iliac Joint Injections are rare and your physician will discuss them with you. You will be asked to sign a written consent prior to the procedure. Please make sure you fully understand the risks and benefits of any procedure prior to signing the consent form.
Sacro-iliac joint injections, as with most other procedures, are performed in our in-office fluoroscopy suite. X-ray is used for all injections. Intravenous sedation is typically not offered but a mild oral sedative may be offered, depending on your medical condition. A driver is required for all spinal injections. You may resume normal activities the day after the procedure, unless otherwise directed by your physician. It may take a week or more for you to feel relief. Typically a follow-up evaluation is scheduled two weeks from the date of the procedure, so that you can discuss your response to the injection with your physician.
Sacro-iliac joint injections are a relatively simple way to diagnose and relieve pain related to dysfunction or inflammation of the sacro-iliac joint. Please contact our office if you have additional questions regarding this procedure.
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Side effects of Sacro-iliac Joint Injections
Side effects are rare, but fluid retention, insomnia, elevated blood sugar, bleeding, and infection have occurred. These side effects usually occur on patients taking strong anti-coagulants or blood thinners, or those with a high fever or an active infection. Diabetic patients will need to monitor their blood sugar before and after the procedure as steroid can cause blood sugar to rise. As long as a diabetic patient’s blood sugar is normal before the procedure and monitored after the procedure, the risk of a dangerously high blood sugar is low. Other less common risks include increased pain, kidney failure, bowel or bladder dysfunction, paralysis, and death. Your physician should be notified if you are taking medications such as Coumadin, Plavix, Ticlid, Lovenox, Aggrenox, Insulin, or Metformin. Your physician should also be made aware of any allergies you have, especially if you are allergic to iodine or contrast. Notify your physician immediately if you have concerns about your condition after the procedure.
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