Sacroiliac Joint Injections
Spine Center Atlanta provides Sacroiliac Joint Injections for patients from Atlanta and throughout the Southeast. We are a comprehensive spine care center offering state-of-the-art treatments and effective solutions for complex spine problems including acute and chronic pain.
The Sacroiliac Joint refers to the region of your lower back and buttocks where your pelvis joins the spine. A Sacroiliac Injection is an interventional procedure that places pain-relieving medication and a steroid into the joint to reduce the inflammation and relieve the pain. Our Spine physicians are highly skilled and experienced in performing Sacroiliac Joint Injections as well as a wide variety of other interventional treatments. Using a state-of-the-art C-Arm GE 9900 Elite Fluoroscopy with a laser guidance system, our spine care center is able to safely and precisely deliver pain-relieving medications directly into the affected area or areas.
Sacroiliac Joint Procedure Preparation
There is very little preparation for this spinal treatment, in fact, you may decide to go ahead with this procedure during your initial consultation. The procedure will be fully explained to you before you decide to proceed.
Please bring any previous imaging study results (MRI, CT, x-rays) such as films, reports, or CD-ROMs, if available, to your initial appointment; if you do not have current images, we may refer you to have studies done prior to the procedure. If you come by car, you will need a driver to take you home after your appointment. You will be able to go home unaccompanied via subway or taxi. Please notify your physician if you are nursing or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
Please be prepared to discuss any medications that you are currently on with our physician, or bring you medication bottles with you to your appointment.
What to Expect During The Procedure
First, a small area of skin will be numbed using an anesthetic. This medicine stings for several seconds. Using x-ray guidance (fluoroscopy), your physician will advance a thin needle adjacent to your spinal column, at the location of the facet nerve. By using x-ray guidance, accurate placement of the needle is assured. A small amount of contrast (dye) is injected to insure proper needle position inside the joint space.
Then, a small mixture of numbing medicine (anesthetic) and anti-inflammatory (steroid) medication is injected. One or several joints may be injected depending on the location of your usual pain.
What to Expect After The Procedure
There is very little recovery time after this procedure, many patients return to work the same day. You may experience numbness from your symptoms for up to six hours after the injection. Your usual symptoms may then return and may possibly be worse than usual for a day or two.
The beneficial effects of the steroids usually require 2-3 days to be effective, in some cases, it may take as long as 5-7 days. If, after a week, there is no change in your symptoms consult with your doctor to investigate other possible causes of your pain.
If an initial injection provided a certain amount of relief, a second injection might strengthen the pain relief effect (known as “stacking”). Some patients have relief in the first few weeks, but the pain returns in the following weeks and months, additional injections will increase your relief of pain.
Keep track of how long relief lasts and report it to your physician. If there is no change in the pain, then the investigation can be focused on other possible sources of your pain. The effects of the treatment are an important part of determining the problem and planning future treatment programs.
To get the maximum benefits of this procedure you will go through a course of physical therapy, this will help to strengthen your body to avoid future pain.
Possible Side Effects
Although side effects from this procedure are very rare, our physician will review any possibilities with you before your procedure. Possible side effects include facial flushing, occasional low-grade fevers, hiccups, insomnia, headaches, water retention, increased appetite, increased heart rate, and abdominal cramping or bloating. These side effects occur in less than 5% of patients and usually disappear within 1-3 days after the injection. If you experience any side effects, please feel free to contact us at any time.
Sacroiliac Pain Symptoms
Sacroiliac pain symptoms may include pain in the lower back, buttocks, abdomen, groin, or legs. The degree of pain relief experienced during the injection will help to confirm or deny the joint as a source of pain. There is very little preparation or recovery time needed for this procedure and many patients are able to return to work the same day.
Lower Back Pain Treatments
Spine Center Atlanta provides the most comprehensive and advanced lower back pain treatments available in a warm and friendly environment that is centered around patients and their families. Our spine care center of excellence features board-certified Orthopaedic Surgeons, Spine Surgeons, and Interventional Spine physicians as well as a complete ancillary staff of licensed physical therapists, massage therapists, and acupuncturists. Our physicians and ancillary staff members work collaboratively to help our patients achieve long-term pain relief and increased quality of life.
If you or a member of your family is suffering from lower back pain, please contact our specialists at Spine Center Atlanta today to schedule an appointment or to get more information about Sacroiliac Joint Injections. We look forward to serving you with the top quality spine, neck, and back care!