Spine Joint Injection
Sacroiliac (SI) joint blocks are injections that are primarily used for diagnosing and treating the low back pain associated with sacroiliac joint dysfunction. The SI joint lies next to the spine and connects the sacrum, the triangular bone at the base of the spine, with the pelvis.
With this treatment, a physician uses fluoroscopic guidance and inserts a needle into the sacroiliac joint to inject lidocaine (a numbing agent) and a steroid. Injecting the local anesthetic confirms the specific joint as the source of the pain, while the steroid fuels the pain relief.
An SI joint block may be repeated up to three times per year. For the treatment to be successful, the injection should be followed by physical therapy to provide mobilization and range of motion exercises.
Facet joints, located on either side of the vertebrae, give the spine its flexibility. Like other joints, the facet joints can be a source of pain when they become irritated or inflamed.
A facet joint injection serves as both a diagnostic tool and a type of treatment. Using a fluroscope as a guide, a doctor will place a needle in the center of the facet joint or in the nerves leading up to it. Then, a local anesthetic such as lidocaine or Novocain is injected through the needle. If your pain subsides, then the doctor knows that the facet joint is the root of the problem.
Because facet joint blocks only show how your symptoms react to the injection without giving any specific information about the nerves or discs, it is often used in conjunction with non-invasive tests first, such as an MRI or CT scan. If the facet joint block itself is unsuccessful in treating the pain, it will allow your doctor to clarify the diagnosis and outline an appropriate treatment plan.
A radiofrequency neurotomy uses low-level electrical stimulation to locate the nerve source of your chronic back pain and subsequently severs that nerve, effectively preventing it from transmitting pain signals from the facet joints to the brain.
Radiofrequency neurotomies are used to treat lower-back pain when the spinal facet joint has been diagnosed as the cause of lower back pain and a facet joint injection has proved to only temporarily effective.
Many patients who undergo a radiofrequency neurotomy experience increased pain immediately following procedure, but about half of all patients who undergo this procedure will experience lasting pain relief.
It is important to schedule a follow-up visit to determine the success of the procedure. If the procedure is successful, you should expect results within 2-5 days. The improvement will be gradual. It may take up to one month for the full benefit of the procedure to occur. If this is the case, our doctors may give you a prescription for supplemental pain medication before the total pain relief is fully realized.