Procedure Prep - Facet/Sacroiliac (SI) Joints
How should I prepare for my procedure?
If your previous imaging was not done at one of our locations, you may be asked to contact your former provider and request that your film be sent to us for a comparison study.
- If you have an active infection and are taking antibiotics, the medication course must be complete prior to the procedure.
- If you are taking blood thinners (Coumadin, Plavix or Ticlid), you will have to hold the medication prior to the procedure. Contact your healthcare provider before stopping any medication to determine if it is safe for you.
- Bring someone to drive you home after the procedure.
- Inform us if you are or may be pregnant, or have allergies to medications or x-ray dye (contrast).
- Arrive 15 minutes early to complete registration.
- Bring your insurance card and a valid photo ID.
- Clear liquid diet 3 hours prior to the procedure.
How long will my procedure take?
A facet/sacroiliac injection will take approximately 30-45 minutes.
What happens during my procedure?
You will be positioned on your stomach on an x-ray table. The area to be injected will be cleansed with an antiseptic solution. Local anesthetic will be used to numb the area.
Fluoroscopy (a type of low-dose x-ray) is used to clearly view the area in real time, on a video monitor. This ensures exact placement of the needle during the procedure. After the needle is placed, contrast material is injected to confirm that the needle is in the correct location. Some patients feel a slight pressure sensation or discomfort as the contrast is injected. This is temporary and will gradually dissipate within a short time after the procedure.
Next, a combination of anesthetic and steroid will be injected.
What happens after my procedure?
A summary of the procedure and findings will be sent to your healthcare provider.
You may resume your normal diet and prescribed medications.
Rest for the remainder of the day. Avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 24 hours after the procedure.
As the anesthetic that was injected wears off, your symptoms may return and may be worse for 1-2 days until the steroid takes effect. You may feel soreness at the needle insertion site for 2-3 days. You can use an ice pack for up to 15 minutes per hour to relieve any discomfort.
In some patients, a single injection will give permanent relief. Many patients require multiple injections. In patients where inflammation is not a contributing factor to the pain, this injection may not provide any relief.