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Sacroiliac joint injections are used to diagnose and treat pain associated with sacroiliac joint dysfunction. The sacroiliac, or SI joints, connect your sacrum to your hip bones. The SI joints are a critical part of the spine, acting as shock absorbers between the upper body and the pelvis, and also enable backward and forward bending. When the cartilage that covers these joints is damaged or wears out with age, the bones can rub against each other, resulting in lower back pain and sciatica symptoms. The purpose of a sacroiliac joint injection is two-fold:
Prior to the procedure, your skin is numbed with a local anesthetic. Using x-ray guidance, a needle is guided into the sacroiliac joint. Contrast dye is injected to confirm proper placement of the needle. Once the affected joint is confirmed, medication and anti-inflammatory cortisone is injected into the joint.
Pain relief should take effect a few days after the injection. It is normal for a slight increase in pain in the first days following the procedure, as the numbing medication wears off before the cortisone becomes effective. Sacroiliac joint injections can provide months of pain relief and reduced inflammation.