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What is an SI Joint Injection? 

The sacroiliac joint is a large joint in your lower back and buttocks region. When the joint becomes painful, it can cause pain in its immediate region or it can refer pain into your groin, abdomen, hip, buttock or leg.

In a sacroiliac joint injection, a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid are injected into one or both of your sacroiliac joints, or into the ligaments surrounding the joints. The local anesthetic, a numbing medicine, lessens the pain temporarily. The corticosteroid reduces inflammation that may be causing pain. The injection can be used for both diagnosis and treatment. If the injection immediately lessens your pain and helps you move better, it tells our doctors that the sacroiliac joint is the cause of the pain.

What to Expect during an SI Injection

SI joint injections are safely performed on an outpatient basis. The procedure typically requires 20 to 30 minutes, including preparation time, and is followed by a short period of observed recovery time.

An IV is inserted to administer intravenous medication(s) to help you relax and a local anesthetic may be used to numb your skin. The doctor will insert a thin needle directly into the sacroiliac joint. Fluoroscopy, a type of x-ray, may be used to ensure a safe and proper position for the needle. A dye may also be injected to help make sure the needle is at the correct spot. Once the doctor is sure the needle is correctly placed, the medicine will be injected.

Expected Results of an SI Injection

Immediate but temporary pain relief may occur from the local anesthetic, which will last about a few hours. The benefit from the corticosteroid medicine will typically occur two to four days following the procedure and last for several months. Although they are not a cure, SI joint injections are very effective in reducing inflammation of the joint and providing pain relief for an extended period of time.

Up to three injections may be given within a six-month time frame, usually performed two to three weeks apart. Patients may gain considerable to complete relief after the first or second injection.

In Pain? We Can Help.