What To Expect
Unlike a spinal (epidural) block, which requires needle placement close to nerves and the into the spine itself, with potential risks of paralysis, numbness, and/or loss of bowel or bladder control, the sacroiliac joint injection, performed under ultrasound guidance, does not have the same risks of neurological injury, as it is safely away from these structures. However, like any type of injection, there are risks of bleeding, bruising, infection, or allergic reaction. This is why you are carefully screened in the office in advance to determine if you are appropriate to undergo this procedure.
After lying face down on the examining table, you will be positioned for optimal comfort and joint access for treatment. The injection site is marked on your skin under ultrasound guidance, after an ultrasound evaluation of the sacroiliac joint area is performed to evaluate local anatomy and determine if there are any other local conditions of concern, such as a mass, fluid collection, or cyst, for example. The skin area is cleaned with either Betadine (iodine) solution and/or alcohol. The skin is anesthethetized (numbed) with a topical vapocoolant spray, which produces a mild burning sensation on the skin. Once this has been achieved, the needle is then carefully inserted into the joint under ultrasound guidance, and there is a sensation of pressure for a few seconds, after which the needle is withdrawn and a sterile dressing is applied.
This procedure requires no special pre-medication or sedation, and is performed in the office.
If you are required to pre-medicate with antibiotics due to heart-related or other health conditions, please obtain the antibiotics from your cardiologist or primary care provider, and inform our office in advance to let us know what antibiotic and dosage you are taking. Antibiotics must be taken no less than one hour before the scheduled time of your visit.
You must eat and drink the day of the procedure, but should avoid caffeine containing substances or other stimulants, alcohol, and cigarette smoking before the procedure.
The procedure does not require the placement of IV catheters or cardiopulmonary monitoring. If you have a medical condition where the use of cardiopulmonary monitoring is required, you will be referred to an outpatient surgery center for injection under the care of an anesthesiologist or other pain management specialist.
Injections are performed in our modern and comfortable office by Dr. Kahn only. Due to the time it takes to prepare and perform the injection, if you do not arrive in advance of your scheduled injection time, your visit may be cancelled.
You will be discharged with detailed post-injection instructions regarding injection site management, pain management, and activity restrictions, and you may be able to return home or back to work, with any necessary restrictions, and may be provided with a prescription for physical therapy. You will schedule a follow-up visit as directed by Dr. Kahn before leaving the office.