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Sacroiliac (SI) Injection

What is a Sacroiliac (SI) Injection?

A sacroiliac joint (SI joint) injection is an injection in the joint attaching the lower portion of the spine (sacrum) to the pelvis (iliac bone).

The SI joints are two large but narrow joints in the pelvic bones that can become irritated and inflamed for many reasons. The pain can interfere with playing sports, walking, climbing stairs or other activities.

Purpose of Sacroiliac Injections

Irritation or inflammation of the sacroiliac joint can cause pain. It may also limit daily functions such as walking, turning in bed, playing sports or other activities. If the pain does not improve with treatments such as heat / cold, or rest, we may choose to inject a medication into the painful joint. The medications frequently used are a local anesthetic (such as lidocaine) and a steroid (such as cortisone), which is a strong anti-inflammatory medication.

Sacroiliac Injections Procedure

  1. A nurse will call you several days before the procedure to review the procedure and give specific instructions.
  2. Sedation is not usually needed, but can be arranged.
  3. You and your child will check in at the Radiology Department on the first floor of B building or Same Day Surgery on the third floor, unless otherwise instructed.
  4. You or your child will be escorted to a procedure room and your child will be asked to change into a hospital gown.
  5. Most patients usually lie on their stomach.
  6. Your child's skin will be cleaned with special cleaning solution and the local anesthetic (numbing medicine) will be placed using a tiny needle.
  7. X-rays or ultrasound are used to guide the needle into position and the steroid is injected. X-ray dye is also used to observe the medication spread.
  8. After the medication is injected, you or your child will be permitted to roll onto their back and be brought to the pre-procedure room.
  9. You will be given follow-up instructions when discharged.

Possible Complications with Sacroiliac Injections

There are several possible complications; however, the risk is extremely rare. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Nerve damage

After Sacroiliac Injections

You may find that your child's pain gets worse at first. The doctor may order a small amount of pain medication for the first few days until the injected medication begins to work. This occurs because placing a needle into an irritated joint and injecting steroid causes more irritation for a short time. You or your child's pain should begin to decrease approximately two days after the injection. Approximately three days after the injection, an advanced practice registered nurse will call to see how you or your child is doing. You can call us for any questions or concerns at 1-513-636-7768.

You or your child should not participate in any running, jumping or contact sports until advised by their doctor.

Call Your Child's Doctor If:

Call your child's doctor if your child develops fever, or redness or swelling at the injection site.

Last Updated 06/2023

Reviewed By Kenneth Goldschneider, MD, FAAP

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