What is the purpose of the Sacroiliac Joint Block?

A Sacroiliac Joint Block is an injection procedure used to diagnose and treat lower back pain caused by injury or disease to the sacroiliac joint.  The sacroiliac joints are small joints in the region of your lower back and buttocks, where the pelvis actually joins the spine.  If the joint becomes painful it can cause pain in its immediate region or it can refer pain into your groin, abdomen and legs.  The medication that is injected may reduce the inflammation within the joint.

What does the procedure involve?

The Sacroiliac Joint Block is an outpatient procedure done in a Special Procedure Room.  For your safety, the nurse will connect you to monitoring equipment (EKG monitor, blood pressure cuff and a blood-oxygen monitoring device). 

In addition, the nurse may start an intravenous line and the doctor may give you some medicine to help you relax.  You will lie on your stomach and most likely have a pillow underneath your abdomen so that you are in the correct position.  After your skin is cleansed with an antiseptic solution the doctor will inject some numbing medication that will produce a burning sensation for a few seconds.

After the numbing medicine takes effect, the doctor will insert another needle and with the guidance of a special X-ray machine called a fluoroscope, inject a contrast dye to confirm the needle is in place.  Once the needle is in the correct place, the doctor will inject a mixture of the numbing medicine (anesthetic) and anti-inflammatory medicine (cortisone/steroid).  It is possible you will feel pain or pressure similar to your normal back pain as the medicine is injected.  This is a good sign and means the medicine is going to the right place. The pain usually disappears quickly.

After the procedure, we ask that you remain at the Center until the doctor feels you are ready to leave.

Can I go to sleep for the procedure?

It is not necessary for you to go to sleep for this procedure; if needed, you will receive enough medication to keep you comfortable.

How long will the procedure take?

A Sacroiliac Joint Block usually takes no more than 30 minutes.

What should I do before the procedure?

If you receive sedation, it is recommended that you do not eat eight hours before the procedure.  If you are a diabetic, be sure to discuss your eating and medication schedule with your doctor.

You may need to stop taking certain medications several days before the procedure.  Please remind the doctor of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you take, including herbal and vitamin supplements.  Please bring a list of medications and dosages the day of your procedure.

It is very important to tell the doctor if you have asthma, if you have had an allergic reaction (i.e. hives, itchiness, difficulty breathing, and any treatment which required hospitalization) to the injected contrast dye for a previous radiology exam (CT scan, angiogram, etc.).  Also tell the doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to shellfish (shrimp, scallops, lobster, and crab).  The doctor may prescribe some medications for you to take before having the procedure.

Tell the doctor if you develop a cold, fever or flu like symptoms before your scheduled appointment. 

Is there anything special that I need to do after the procedure?

You may experience some weakness and/or numbness in your legs, arms or chest, depending on the location of the epidural site that may last for a few hours after the procedure.

If so, do not engage in any activities that require lifting, balance and coordination.  Drink plenty of clear liquids after the procedure to help remove the contrast dye from the kidneys.  After your procedure we recommend that you do not take a hot shower or bath.  You make take a shower as long as the water is lukewarm. It is recommended that you do not drive for the remainder of the day. Please have an adult drive you home or accompany you.  You may resume your normal activities as tolerated.
If the doctor prescribes physical therapy, it is very important that you follow through with the physical therapy program. 

Although you may feel much better immediately after the injection (due to the anesthetic that is used), there is a possibility your pain may return within a few hours.  It usually takes between 3-7 days for the steroid medication to start working.

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Yasmin was, and always will be, a shining example of a how a person can achieve anything with hard work and a life-affirming attitude. She gave more than she took, she loved more than she feared, and she nurtured her family and friends at every opportunity. We will always remember Yasmin as a woman of strength, courage and compassion. 

Due to her untimely passing from brain cancer, we have set up a trust fund for her two children, Niles and Nylah. Please make your checks payable to: The YANN Trust (Yasmin Algarin Niles Nylah), 197 Ridgedale Ave., Suite 210, Cedar Knolls, NJ 07927.

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The pages on this website contain general guidelines and information based on acceptable standards and should not be construed as medical advice. 

Please consult your own physician for appropriate management about your medical condition.