What is a sacroiliac joint injection, and how is it performed?

Written by: Dr Ralph Rogers
Edited by: Conor Lynch

In one of our latest medical articles here, highly regarded sports medicine specialist, Dr Ralph Rogers, discusses sacroiliac joint dysfunction in expert detail, including explaining how this injection is administered.

What is sacroiliac joint dysfunction?

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is an injury or inflammation of the sacroiliac (SI) joint which causes pain in the lower back region. The SI joint is formed by the connection of the sacrum with ilium.


What is a sacroiliac joint injection, and how is it performed?

This injection is primarily used to both diagnose and treat lower back pain caused by joint inflammation. In terms of how the injection is administered, the patient lies on her/his stomach before the skin is cleansed with antiseptic solution and numbed with a local anaesthetic.


Using X-ray guidance, a needle is then inserted into the SI joint by the surgeon. Once the needle is in the correct location, a mixture of numbing medication and steroid is injected into the patient. It usually takes roughly 10 minutes to complete.


Will the injection hurt?

There is some discomfort with needle insertion which will always be minimised by numbing the skin over the join with a local anaesthetic.


How long does the effect last?

Pain relief in the first couple of hours after the injection is the most important thing to look out for, as this tells us our diagnosis of SI joint mediated pain is indeed accurate.


What is the next step after the injection?

Patients will be provided with a follow-up appointment to discuss how effective the treatment has been for them, and if they have noticed any difference.


What are the risks and side effects?

This is a very safe procedure and associated risks are extremely rare and minimal. The most commonly reported problem after the injection is having pain in the area of the injection for a few days. Other possible complications include infection, bleeding, as well as nerve damage/injury.


To book an appointment with Dr Ralph Rogers today, just visit his Top Doctors profile to do just that. 

By Dr Ralph Rogers
Sports medicine

Dr Ralph Rogers is a renowned consultant in sports medicine and regenerative orthopaedics, with a special interest in non-surgical orthopaedic techniques and regenerative medicine to treat chronic pain and musculoskeletal problems. He is an innovator, using cutting-edge techniques, such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and Cooled RF treatment as treatment options for chronic pain and osteoarthritis, extracorporeal shockwave therapy, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, and lipogems.

Dr Rogers studied a degree in psychology in Delaware, US, before undertaking his medical training at the University of Leuven in Belgium. He went on to gather further qualifications from various international institutions, including a PhD in exercise physiology and an MSc for his work on PRP.

He specialises in non-surgical treatments for orthopaedic conditions, working closely with his patients to improve mobility, performance, and maintain a good quality of life free from pain. Dr Rogers tailors treatment to each patient and considers the needs and goals of each and every one.

Dr Rogers has served as team doctor and sports physician for various associations and teams, including the Warwickshire County Cricket Club and Chelsea Football Club. He has acted as Musculoskeletal Consultant for the West Midlands, Manchester, and Nottingham Police Forces, and he currently serves as the Medical Advisor to the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the US. 

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