Sacroiliac joint steroid injection — overview and what to expect

Your body has two sacroiliac joints that connect the sacrum at the base of the spine to the pelvis. The sacrum is made up of several fused vertebrae and is located below the lumbar (lower) spine and 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 the sacrum and ilium is called a sacroiliac joint.

Like any joint in your body, the sacroiliac joints can wear down and become inflamed. This inflammation can cause lower back pain as well as pain in the buttocks, hips or legs. In addition to treatments such as physical therapy, massage and over-the-counter medication, a common procedure used to diagnose and treat this condition is a sacroiliac joint steroid injection.

What is a sacroiliac joint injection?

A sacroiliac joint steroid injection typically involves introducing a numbing medicine and or steroid into the problematic joint in an effort to relieve inflammation and pain. The procedure begins with your physician cleaning and numbing the injection site. First, a small amount of contrast dye will be injected into the joint. This will allow your doctor 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 doctor 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 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 SI joint dysfunction or a spine condition such as a bulging disc or herniated disc, we can help. Our board-certified surgeons+ perform a range of minimally invasive spine surgery, including an SI joint fusion, on an outpatient basis.

We’re happy to provide a free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.