Sacroiliac Joint Steroid Injection

What is a Sacroiliac Joint Steroid Injection?

A sacroiliac joint block, also known as a sacroiliac (SI) joint injection, is used to diagnose and alleviate lower and sciatica back pains. These are also indications that relate to sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

The sacroiliac joints, which connect to the sacrum and the hips, lie next to the spinal cord. There are two sacroiliac joints, one placed on either side of the spinal cord. Inflammation or dysfunction in this area causes notable pain.

The sacroiliac joint injection procedure serves two purposes; locating the source of the patient’s pain for diagnosis, and treating the pain. On occasion, these can be separate procedures (diagnostic and therapeutic), though most commonly the two procedures require only one injection. This procedure is most often used to treat pain due to arthritis in the sacroiliac joint. The steroidal medication administered treats and alleviates swelling and pain.


The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. When irritated, it causes the condition sciatica. Sciatica usually affects one side of the lower body. It’s diagnosed as a pain that radiates from the lower back and down the thigh and leg. The pain can be either sharp and dull, and is usually accompanied by numb or tingling sensation.

What does the procedure look like?

This procedure is done in the clinic, at Portland Pain and Spine. The patient lies on their stomach with a pillow placed under the abdomen, to provide comfort and to arch the back while preparing for the procedure. The physician then uses both touch and a fluoroscope, an x-ray device, to examine the back and find the sacroiliac joint. The physician administers medication to relax your nerve, while the skin and tissue above the joint are desensitized using a local anesthetic.

The doctor then inserts a needle into the anesthetized tract through the sacroiliac joint.

Once the needle has been inserted, the doctor connects a syringe and injects a steroid-anesthetics mixture into the sacroiliac joint. The mixture bathes the affected area, alleviating pain.

The needle is then removed and the injection area dressed.

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