The sacroiliac joints, or SI joints, are located at the base of the spine where the sacrum and ilium bones meet. There is one SI joint located at the interior edge of each of the two ilium pelvic bones. Complications of the sacroiliac joints, such as osteoarthritis or injury, can cause chronic lower back pain, as well as discomfort in the buttocks, thighs and hips.
A sacroiliac joint injection may be recommended to provide pain relief to patients experiencing ongoing discomfort due to an SI joint disorder. During an SI joint injection, a patient lies on his abdomen sometimes while under mild sedation. After numbing the skin with a local anesthetic, a fine needle is inserted into the joint. A slow-release steroid medication is administered, which is designed to begin providing pain relief within three to five days.
SI injections are outpatient procedures that take just a few minutes to complete. Most patients experience a minimal recovery period and can return to work and other usual activities within 24 hours. Pain relief sustained from the injection can last several months, although every patient experiences different results.
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