Sacroiliac Joint Injections

The sacroiliac joints (SI joints) are two joints on both sides of the sacrum (tailbone area) where the pelvis attaches to the bottom of the spine.  They are joints in the classic sense, but do not have much motion.  They provide stabilization of the pelvis for walking and most of the long back musculature comes down and attaches over these joints.  When these joints become inflamed from either disease (ankylosing spondylitis) or from wear and tear (leg-length discrepancy or walking with a limp) a sacroiliac joint steroid injection may be helpful in both diagnosis and treatment of the painful condition.  With patients laying on the stomach, the SI joint is identified using X-ray and the skin is cleansed and numbed with local anesthetic.  A small needle is placed into the joint and confirmed with dye.  Local anesthetic and steroids are then injected.  Patients usually experience relief within a few minutes during their recovery period.  The steroid injection may provide relief for several weeks to several months.  If the pain returns the procedure can be repeated.