Your body contains two sacroiliac joints, one on each side of the sacrum, which is a triangle-shaped bone at the very base of your spine. The sacrum is made up of several fused vertebrae and is located directly above the tailbone (or coccyx). The left and right sides of the sacrum are connected to the ilium, which are the broad, bony plates that are often described as the “wings” of the pelvis. The connection between each sacrum and the illium is called a sacroiliac joint.
Much like any joint in your body, a sacroiliac joint can become inflamed. This inflammation can cause lower back pain as well as pain in the buttocks, hips or legs. However, a common procedure used to diagnose and treat this condition is a sacroiliac joint steroid injection.
What is it?
A sacroiliac joint steroid injection involves introducing a numbing medicine and/or steroid into the problematic joint in an effort to relieve pain. The procedure begins with your physician cleansing and numbing the injection site. First, a small amount of contrast dye will be injected into the joint. This will allow your physician to use an x-ray device (called a fluoroscope) that’s capable of viewing the dye and ensuring the medication is only injected into the proper area. Your physician will then inject a mixture of anesthetic and anti-inflammatory cortisone into the joint, completing the procedure.
What can I expect after the injection?
If you experience pain relief after your sacroiliac joint steroid injection, your physician can reasonably conclude that your pain was a result of that specific joint. This will allow further treatment and potentially longer-lasting pain relief remedies. However, if your pain does not subside, there may be another root cause behind the pain in your lower back, hip, buttock or leg.
If a sacroiliac joint steroid injection or other conservative procedure has failed to diagnose or treat your pain, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Whether your neck or back pain is a result of spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, a bulging disc, a herniated disc or other degenerative disc disease, we can help. Our innovative outpatient procedures may be able to help you find relief from neck and back pain.