Sacroiliac joint injection

Sacroiliac joint injection by Dr. Vivek Loomba


Sacroiliac Joint injection is a steroid or local anesthetic injection used while treating patients with lower back pain. The Sacroiliac is located at a place where your spine is connected to the pelvis. The injection is directly injected into the spine on the target area. It is used as a numbing medicine during the procedure. The steroid injection provides long-lasting pain relief in comparison to local anesthesia.

How to get ready for the Sacroiliac Joint Infection Procedure

You need to consult your healthcare provider for the necessary guidance and take precautions as suggested. You might have to avoid many things and undertake many precautionary measures prior to the procedure such as –

  • No solid food or fluids after midnight
  • Avoid any blood thinners such as Coumadin, Warfarin, Plavix, or any others.
  • Diabetic people should avoid their diabetes medications

Also, inform your healthcare provider if you’ve had certain allergies or any reactions to previous procedures or injections. 

Sacroiliac Joint Injection Procedure

It usually happens in an operating room or procedure room. It takes around 1 to 2 hours for the entire procedure and the patient can go home the same day. 

The following outlines the typical Sacroiliac Joint Injection Procedure-

  • You have to lie face down on your stomach. A pillow might be placed under the hips for support and for the patient’s comfort.
  • Vitals are monitored on screen throughout the procedure.
  • Based on the patient’s preference an intravenous line is inserted to deliver medications.
  • The injection will be inserted in the site after it is numbed with local anesthetic medication. Once the needle is inserted in the spine with the help of fluoroscopy guidance, contrast-’dye’ is shown under x-ray for verification of needle placement and also in determining the spread of solution in joints.
  • After the successful needle insertion diagnosis or therapeutic medications are administered to the site.

Two types of medications are basically injected for patient’s pain relief –

  1. Local Anesthetic Medications – It is injected for quick pain relief in sacroiliac joints. It is typically used as a diagnostic sacroiliac joint injection.
  2. Anti-inflammatory Medications – It helps in reducing pain for a longer time (several months or even years). It is typically used as therapeutic medications providing effective pain relief in Sacroiliac joints.

Side effects of the Sacroiliac Joint Injection Procedure 

The risks involved after the procedure are relatively very minor that include the –

  • Weakness or numbness in the leg
  • Soreness and redness on the injection site
  • Fever
  • Allergic reaction to the injection
  • Infection in the joint or tissues

You should consult your pain management doctor or physician about the acquired side effects after the procedure. And, if you feel severe pain, numbness, or weakness after the procedure you should immediately call your healthcare provider to avoid major health complications. Your doctor will take care of the issues for your future pain management treatment.