Sacroiliac Joint Block: Diagnosis and Relief for Sciatica or Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

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What is a Sacroiliac Joint Block?

A Sacroiliac Joint Block (SIJB) is an injection of a local anesthetic and a steroid into the sacroiliac joint. The sacroiliac joint is the area where the sacrum of the spine and the iliac bone of the pelvis meet.

What can you expect during your visit?

When the procedure is done in the office, you will meet with your doctor in the exam room first. They will go over all the risks and benefits of this procedure. You will be taken to the exam room, placed in the prone position, and a fluoroscopy guidance machine will be brought into position. Your doctor will then numb the area with a local anesthetic and, using live fluoroscopy guidance; will insert a spinal needle and inject a numbing agent and steroid into the SI joint. When the procedure is complete, the medical assistant will clean up the skin and place a bandage over the injection sites. You will then be placed in a post procedure room for about 10 to 20 minutes and your pain levels will be reevaluated.

When the procedure is done in a facility, you will check into the facility an hour and a half in advance. You will be asked to fast for 6 hours prior to your procedure. You will be brought back and prepped by a nurse on staff. They will insert the IV for the conscious sedation. In the procedure room you will be placed in the prone position and a fluoroscopy guidance machine will be brought into position. . Your doctor will then numb the area with a local anesthetic and, using live fluoroscopy guidance; will insert a spinal needle and inject a numbing agent and steroid into the SI joint. You will be monitored for about 30 minutes after your procedure.

What happens after the injection?

You will be asked not to drive for at least 24 hours after the procedure and you must have a driver drive you home from our office. You may experience numbness in your leg for as long as the local anesthetic lasts, which can be up to 12 hours. The day of and the following day you may feel some discomfort in the injection areas.

How long will the pain relief last?

The duration of the pain relief will be 1 to 6 hours. The steroid may decrease the pain, but could take 3 – 5 days to fully kick in.

Is there anything specific I need to tell my doctor prior to this procedure?

You should tell your doctor if you are pregnant, on blood thinners,diabetic, or if you have any other concerns you would like to address beforehand.

The above information is for general education purposes only. Please ask your doctor specific questions during your visit.

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