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What is a sacroiliac joint injection?

A Sacroiliac Joint Injection is designed to treat pain and inflammation in the Sacroiliac Joint.

What is sacroiliac joint pain? 

The Sacroiliac Joint is the connects the spine to the hip bones. There are two sacroiliac joints in the body, one on each side of the sacrum connected by strong ligaments. In humans, they help transfer forces from the lower body to the upper body and also control the pelvis as you walk.

Sacroiliac Joint pain happens when this joint is injured of inflamed, and can feel like simple muscle pain and sometime feel like its a lot worse. It can just go from the lower back to down the back of the leg as well.

Risks of sacroiliac joint injection. 

A risk with a Sacroiliac Joint pain Injection, as with any other procedure is the the bleeding. Other risks include numbness from the local anesthesia that is administered before the actual procedure begins. This can interfere with walking and moving about for the first few hours, which is why it is usually recommended that one rests at the place of the procedure till it is easy to walk again.

There is a chance that there may be increased pain right after the procedure particularly where the localized anesthesia is administered. There is also a chance that a slight elevation in blood sugar may occur in the first few days after the procedure. 

Preparing for a Sacroiliac Joint Injection 

Preparing for a Sacroiliac Injection includes letting the doctor know about any medication you might be on, especially blood thinners. Restrictions on medication is normally explained by your doctor and it is important to follow them so there is no negative impact during the procedure itself. Depending on when the procedure is scheduled, there is also a restriction on food and liquid as well. 

What happens during the actual procedure? 

During the procedure, first a local anesthesia is given to numb the area where the injection will be given. Once the effect of the anesthesia begins, a needle is sent to the sacroiliac joint and an x ray dye will be injected to make the next part of the procedure easy. Once the dye is in, using the x ray machine as a guide, the steroid and the anesthetic are injected and the needle is removed. 

For most people, the steroids start to work only after a few days after they are first injected into the system, about 3-5 days after. But if there is no change or improvement 10 days after the injections, it is unlikely to occur.

Although it is recommended that the usual medicines are prescribed even after the procedure, they need to be limited for the first 4-6 hours to be able to gain diagnostic information from the procedure. Once the procedure is done, you can return to your regular activities gradually.

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