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Sacroiliac Joint


Understanding Sacroiliac Joint Pain

The sacroiliac (SI) joints are located in the lower back and connect the sacrum (the triangular bone at the bottom of the spine) to the ilium (part of the pelvis). These joints play a crucial role in transferring weight and forces between the upper body and the legs.


Sacroiliac joint (SIJ) pain is typically described as a dull, achy discomfort in the lower back or buttocks region. Patients may experience pain on one side or both sides of the lower back, and the discomfort can sometimes radiate down into the thigh or groin area. The pain may worsen with certain activities such as standing up from a seated position, walking, or climbing stairs. Additionally, patients with sacroiliac joint dysfunction may experience stiffness and limited range of motion in the lower back or hips.

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What are Sacroiliac Joint Injections?

Sacroiliac Joint Injections are diagnostic and therapeutic injections used to identify and alleviate pain originating from the sacroiliac joints. During the procedure, a combination of a local anesthetic and corticosteroid medication is injected directly into the affected sacroiliac joint(s) under fluoroscopic (live X-ray) guidance. This injection can help reduce inflammation and provide pain relief, confirming the sacroiliac joint(s) as the source of the pain.

Several risk factors may contribute to sacroiliac joint dysfunction, including:

  • Trauma or injury: Traumatic events such as a fall, car accident, or sports injury can damage the ligaments and structures surrounding the sacroiliac joint, leading to instability and pain.

  • Pregnancy: The hormonal changes and increased ligament laxity that occur during pregnancy can put extra stress on the sacroiliac joints, resulting in pain and dysfunction, especially in the later stages of pregnancy.

  • Lumbar fusion: Lumbar fusion to S1 increases the risk of sacroiliac joint dysfunction due to altered biomechanics and increased stress on the adjacent sacroiliac joint.

  • Degenerative changes: Aging and wear-and-tear over time can lead to degeneration of the cartilage in the sacroiliac joint, causing inflammation, pain, and stiffness.

  • Repetitive stress: Activities or occupations that involve repetitive movements or prolonged sitting or standing can strain the sacroiliac joints and increase the risk of dysfunction.

  • Inflammatory conditions: Certain inflammatory diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, or inflammatory bowel disease can affect the sacroiliac joints and cause pain and inflammation.

It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management of sacroiliac joint pain, as it can sometimes mimic other conditions such as lumbar spine disorders or hip pathology. 

  • How Do I Know If I’m a Candidate for Intracept®?
    The Intracept® Procedure is indicated for patients who have had: Chronic low back pain for at least six months, Who have tried conservative care for at least six months and whose MRI shows features consistent with Modic changes – indicating damage at the vertebral endplates has led to inflammation. The Intracept Procedure, as with any procedure, has risks that should be discussed between the patient and medical provider.
  • How Long Does Pain Relief Last following the Intracept® Procedure?
    Most people start to feel pain relief within 2 weeks after the procedure. Clinical evidence demonstrates the majority of patients experience significant improvements in function and pain 3-months post procedure that are sustained more than 5 years after a single treatment.
  • Is the Intracept® Procedure painful?
    Some patients experience 2-3 days of soreness after the procedure, but overall it is very well tolerated and most patients return to normal activities 24 hours later.
  • What should I expect after the procedure?
    Most patients report at least 50% improvement of their chronic, vertebrogenic low back pain at 2 weeks after the procedure.

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