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Sacroiliac Joint Injections

Sacroiliac joint injections are injections into the sacroiliac joint of local anesthetic and steroids to diagnosis the cause and treat your pain.

How do I prepare for the procedure?

  • You MUST have someone with you to drive home.
  • You may have clear liquids after midnight until 2 hours before your appointment and the nothing to eat or drink.  Clear liquids include Jell-O, broth, 7-Up, tea, coffee and apple juice.  No milk or milk products.  You may take all your normal medications, including pain medication with a sip of water.
  • If you are diabetic or have a bleeding disorder or take medications such as Coumadin, Lovenox, or Plavix that affect your bleeding, please call us at 570-271-6621.
  • Bring a list of your medications including dose and how often you take them.
  • Please bring with you any x-rays or MRI films and reports not done at Geisinger Medical Center.
  • You should plan on being here 2 to 4 hours.
  • Your exam and/or treatment will be done in the interventional Pain Center at Geisinger - Woodbine.

What happens during the procedure?

  • You will be placed on your stomach.
  • Your back will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution.
  • The doctor will use fluoroscopy (a special x-ray technique) to guide placement of the needle in the sacroiliac joint.
  • When the needle is in the proper position, a small amount of dye will be injected to confirm the position.  Then a local anesthetic and steroid medication will be injected into the joint.

How long will the procedure take?

The procedure takes about 10 to 20 minutes.

What complications might occur?

  • Fever
  • Infection at injection site
  • Bleeding

What happens after the procedure?

You will be taken to our recovery area where your blood pressure and pulse will be monitored for 15-20 min.  You will be offered liquids.  Discharge instructions will be reviewed and you will receive a copy of them when your check out.

Steroids take 24 to 48 hours to start to absorb and work so it may be a few days before you feel any relief and up to a week to 10 days before you have significant relief.

Discharge instructions

  • No strenuous activity for 24 hours after the injection
  • Do Not drive or operate machinery until the next day.
  • Take your usual pain medications or prescriptions as written.
  • You may eat your normal diet.

Temporary side effects

  • Numbness and tingling in extremities
  • Increased blood sugar in diabetic patients
  • Increased pain the first 48 hours

Warnings: Call Pain Medicine, 570-271-6621

  • Fever greater then 101 degrees
  • Redness, swelling or pus-like drainage at injection site
  • Severe headache

Return your follow-up questionnaire in the envelope provided in 7-10 days.

Your return appointment will be scheduled when you check out.

If you have any problems or concerns, please call us at 570-271-6621 Monday through Friday 7:30 to 4:30.  If it is after hours, call 570-271-6211 and ask for the Chronic Pain physician on call.