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Had right SI joint injection today, please share your experiences w/ this injection

MingMMing Posts: 1,127
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Spinal Injections
I had right side SI injection today and it didn't hurt too bad. Nothing compared to the 2 tattoos that I have lol. Anyway, I felt great afterwards, it must have been the anesthesia they inject before the injection. I am starting to feel a little sore in my butt and lower back and slightly down right side of leg. He did say it could take a couple days to work. Has anyone had this injection and if so could you please let me know your experiences good and bad? The only thing I did feel was a burning pain down the right side of my butt and into the back of my leg. I can't remember if it was the dye he injected or the injection itself. I forgot to ask what kind of med he injected in me. I hope it's not a steriod because that gives me flushing in my face and weight gain. The PM is referring me to another doc who can prescribe extended release meds like oxycontin as well as manipulations to the SI area.


  • I have had so many before surgery I lost count. If you felt something down your leg in the area you had issue with, most likely the shot will help you. It usually means they "hit" the spot I was told. I am also sure, but call the doctor, that they did injection some steroid. I also get facial flushing and some burning sensation on my face but it goes away. I hope for you that it works. Once I got my 360 fusion those SI joint pains disappeared. I woke from surgery without them and so far(1 month) they haven't returned. I think my L4/L5 caused so much inflammation it affected my SI joints, just a guess but what else explains it other than misalignment??? Get well soon
  • He did say it was a good sign that I felt that. I am glad the surgery helped you out. I hope that this injection combined with manipulation therapy will help. I have to check and make sure my new insurance pays for the manipulation. It doesn't pay for chiropractic treatment but maybe they can count it as PT.
  • I did notice an improvement for a day or so but this morning I started feeling the pain on the right SI joint area and the pain is starting to go down my right leg again. Could it just have been the anesthetic they use to numb you before injection that made me feel better and not the injection itself? I don't know how long it takes for the anesthetic to wear off. I was pretty hopeful yesterday because I went to my son's flag football banquet and was able to stand and sit with no pain until I woke up this morning and now I am getting very discouraged. I have to call PM on Monday to report my progress.

    My birthday is tomorrow and it would be nice to spend it pain free. Maybe I need to do some Cherrybombs tomorrow lol, wanna join me cherrybomb80? <:P
  • Hello Michele,

    Hope you had an enjoyable birthday, AND especially that your pain has become less. May I ask what your PM doc had to say?

    Yep, for the first day or two after I have had an ESI I feel 10 years younger, and I attribute that mostly to the residual lidocaine. For me it takes about 2-3 days after an injection to begin to know if the corticosteroid (Kenalog) worked. Thankfully each ESI given to me by my PM doc has worked and lasted for about 4 months.

    Take care.

  • Hello Michele and Everyone,

    Okay, hang on, this may get a bit lengthy. lol

    I had my first ESI containing Kenalog in Jan '07 by a PA. She twisted that $#%$ needle all over. Hurt like H, and had a big bruise for a month. The injection did help for about 10 days.

    Before going on a short vacation end of Feb '07 I had a 2nd ESI by another PA. He was much MUCH better. That injection helped for a couple of weeks.

    My spinal surgeon recommended that I seek the help of the PM doc they have in the institute. I was reluctant, but oh what the heck I thought I might as well. After looking at my MRIs and x-rays and doing his exam the PM doc recommended that I have an ESI. To which I replied "What for, I've already had two with very limited success?" I also told him that of the people I had spoken with the vast majority had no improvement with an ESI.

    WELLLllll, he REALLY tried very hard to convince me to have another ESI. His statement "ONLY I give my patients an ESI, I will not let a PA or any spinal surgeon in the institute give an ESI to any patients of mine." was enough to let him give me a shot.

    At the time of my visit to my PM doc I had pain in my lower back, pain going down my right leg, and a tingling sensation in the lower part of my leg.

    PM doc said the pain in my leg was caused by a pinched nerve at the L3/L4 area because of a herniated disc.

    SOOooo he gave me an injection to the L3/L4 spot. He also used a fluoroscope to help him guide the needle to exactly the precise location the corticosteroid needed to be. A slight about of pain during the injection but that was it.

    That evening my wife said I was walking more upright. A week later the pain in my right leg was gone, and a month later the tingling sensation in the lower part of my leg was gone. That injection was given in Apr '07. To this day, no pain in my right leg and no tingling sensation either.

    Since then he has given me ESI injections for lower back pain caused by slipped L5/SI vertibrae (I can't spell or pronounce the medical S word. lol) He makes that injection right up my tailbone. Doesn't sound good I know, HOWEVER, almost no discomfort at all. I'm in the ESI room for about 10-15 minutes, and then another 15-20 minutes in a recliner until the lidocaine wears off enough for me to have some stability when I walk. My wife drives me home, I take it easy for a couple of hours and then I'm back outside working in our gardens. My last injection was later part of Aug '08 and is still working fairly well. It's the GRRRRrrr arthritis all over me joints in this dark cold rainy weather we have been having. Can't wait for Spring!!!

    Sorry so long, hope I haven't lost anyone along the way.

    Have a MOST wonderful Christmas!!!


    P.S. - I'm TOTALLY convinced that for an ESI to have any chance of working the doc MUST use a fluoroscope to help him/her guide that needle to precisely the exact location the corticosteroid must go so it can reduce/eliminate the inflammation. ALSO, the expertise of the doctor is SOOOooo very important.
  • Thanks for sharing your experience RichT. I have a really good PM. I think the steroid just isn't working for me. It seems the pain came back after the lidocaine wore off. I am still waiting for PM's assistant to call me back. I left a message on Tuesday. I have to call back tomorrow because I need a refill on pain meds because I will never make it through christmas with the script I have so I hope she answers my call. I am glad that you had such a positive experience. I believe my next step is an epidural which I think is what you are talking about.
  • Hello Michele,

    I'm just a bit confused regarding the type of injections you have had. Perhaps I misunderstood, but I thought you did have an epidural injection containing the lidocaine to numb any pain, and the corticosteroid to reduce inflammation which in turn would reduce/eliminate the pain. Correct? Wrong? Mind clarifying? If you didn't get an epidural injection, then was it just an injection into muscle tissue?

    Yes, for me I have received epidural injections.

    Now to add confusion to the mix. lol When you say "I believe my next step is an epidural" - are you talking about an epidural containing lidocaine and the corticosteroid or are you talking about a nerve block?

    Sorry for all the questions. I just want to make sure I understand correctly.

    "God Bless all my Spiney friends" - Michele, that is very nice. And bless us He does, even with our Spiney issues.

    Take care.

  • If you look under injections in Spine health you will see 2 different kinds. I had an injection into the sacroilliac joint and then a trigger shot. I didn't have the epideral yet. That's my next step. I don't know how to paste a link yet so just search injections on the spine health site and I am pretty sure you will see the difference between the two. I will see if I can find it, paste the link and send to you.
  • Hello Michele,

    Thanks for your response.

    Okay, I'd agree you have not had an epidural injection in the true sense of the word. However, Michele, did the injection contain lidocaine (to kill the pain of the injection itself), and a corticosteroid to reduce inflammation? If so, those are the same "ingredients" in an epidural injection. The location of the injection would be the only difference.

    My past 3 injections have been at the Lumbosacral Joint (or L5/S1).

    Now a question - What is a "trigger shot"?

    I did look under the Pain Injection Health Center but didn't find anything about "2 different kinds" of injections beside the epidural and nerve block injections. Was I on the right "page"?

    I'll look forward to the link.

    One last question if I may - Have you ever had an MRI of your lower back?

    May you have a WONDERFUL Christmas!!!

  • I am not sure how to send the link but I will look into it. The trigger point shot was a shot in the exact location that was also causing pain in addition to the SI joint injection. I don't know exactly what was in either injection though. I asked about an epidural today and they are referring me to another doc that does manipulation and to give me pain meds and if that doesn't work they want me to go through my primary doc. It looks like they've thrown in the towel on me but I wasn't done yet. I wanted to try the epidural and then have them do a nerve test. I don't understand why they are giving up on me so quickly. I don't want to be on pain meds but they are treating me like I am a drug seeker. I told the assistant today that I want to get off pain meds and fix the problem rather than masking the symptoms with narcotic pain meds and I want my life back and I want to go back to work in a couple of weeks. Why are they giving up on me!? I am so mad, sad and a bunch of others emotions all together.
  • Hello Michele,

    I and the rest of us have NOT given up on you!!!! We will continue to try and help.

    I am with you all the way - the next step is an epidural injection. No I am not a doctor, but I have been through the "process".

    More later - perhaps in 4-5 hours.


  • Thank you for your support and kinds words. I called my primary but they are closed so I will call after the Holidays. I talked to my primary about 1 month ago because I felt that ortho was treating me as a drug seeker and not looking for a solution to my problem. We talked about being referred to neuro. He said to call him if I needed the referal so that's what I am going to do. I want a nerve test done and I would like to try the epidural. There is another pain management place around here that is highly recommended so I may see about being referred to there. The pt doc my pain mgmt wants to refer me to is too far away and I don't see his name on the list of docs that are covered on my insurance. I guess I will put this back in the hands of my primary.
  • Hello Michele,

    You are most welcome.

    No worries about the link.

    Thanks for a better understanding regarding the "trigger point shot". Sounds pretty much like "jab it in here where the pain seems to be." That was about what the 2nd PA did to me. "About where does it hurt?" I pointed to about the location, and then ZAP a shot in the muscle by my hip. Sound familiar? Frankly that didn't do a heck of a lot for my pain at that location.

    "I asked about an epidural today and they are referring me to another doc that does manipulation" WHOOPS!!! You want an epidural and they referred you to a doc that does manipulation? SORRY, they were not listening to you, NOR did they explain their reasoning to you. ONE RED FLAG!!

    "and to give me pain meds" "I don't want to be on pain meds" 2ND RED FLAG!!

    "I told the assistant today that I want to get off pain meds and fix the problem rather than masking the symptoms with narcotic pain meds" BRAVO for you Michele!!! You are RIGHT ON!!

    Okay change gears - About the process I went through. On my 1st visit to my first spinal surgeon he examined me, took x-rays and gave me a prescription for Vicodin. Not knowing better I took the Vicodin. After two weeks of literally sleeping the days away I said to myself, "NO WAY do I want to exist like this for the rest of my life, so I slowly took myself off of the pain medication. That took 10 days, and another two weeks to be free of the withdrawal symptoms.

    I next had MRIs taken at his direction. On my 2nd visit he reviewed the MRIs, said my back was one of the worst he had ever seen. Then he told me I had three options (1) try epidural injections, (2) have surgery and take care of the very worst problems, or (3) have surgery and do everything that needed fixing. With that he headed for the door and was gone. AND with that exit I DROPPED HIM like a hot potato. No discussion, NOTHING!!!

    Next I saw his "boss", the president of the institute and also a spinal surgeon. He told me I needed to have surgery within 6 mo. He also said that in the meantime I should see the PM doc or the acupuncture person (I refuse to consider them a doc). I told the surgeon there was no way I was going to see this acupuncture person, so he made an appointment for me to see the PM doc. At the time I had no idea what a PM doc did. NOR did the surgeon explain ANYTHING to me. GRRRrrrrr

    Not the same situations as you, but there are similarities.

    Michele, you have one FANTASTIC head on your shoulders. SUPER!!! Some docs don't want to deal with a person like yourself. They only want to deal with those they can lead around like sheep.

    Another story - One time that 2nd spinal surgeon (Mr. President - sic) was saying something about whatever. I then interjected a few comments using appropriate medical terminology. He then said "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing" To which I replied "Far better the paient has a little knowledge than no knowledge at all." He said nothing. I could have slammed him against the wall. D$^% docs, some think they are Gods.

    So Michele, I have been through the "process". I learned important lessons through this - Listen to the docs and what they have to say. Then do your own research, and get 2nd opinions. Ask questions, and if they walk out the door before giving you an answer - dump them. AND most importantly I learned that it is MY body, so it will be I who makes the decison as to what will or will not be done. I will search for the best doctors I can find, and I will determine who does what to me. Frankly my PCP doc is good for physicals and to see if you have a cold, but beyond that I'll search out the specialists. Lets see, I could give you at least 4 examples where I found a better specialist than the one my PCP sent me to.

    YES Michele, go to your PCP and get that referral for the neuro. Make an appointment to see that neuro.

    "There is another pain management place around here that is highly recommended." No need for a referral, just give them a call and make an appointment with the best PM doc in the group.

    See both docs, and then YOU decide which one you feel most comfortable with. The one who LISTENS to you, the one who REALLY EXPLAINS things to you, and seems to truly want to

    Oh yes, regarding epidurals, check up both docs and find out if they use a fluoroscope. If one doesn't, dump him/her. Try to get info on their "expertise" in giving epidurals (thats not easy to find out). AND make sure the facility has been certified to give epidurals.

    Sorry this is so long. You know by now I'm not a man of a few words.

    Take care.


  • I just talked to my primary today. They are referring me to a neuro. The soonest any neuro in the area that takes my insurance can get me in is Jan 30th so that is when I am set up. My pain mgmt doc won't return my calls but had this place they referred me to call me to let me know that they didn't accept my insurance (which I already knew). The lady said the pain mgmt's assistant wanted them to call me and let me know (probably cuz she won't return my calls and doesn't want to talk to me for some odd reason). Anyway, I am supposed to start my new job on Jan 20th so my primary has squeezed me in for Jan 9th to check me over and talk about pain mgmt to get me by until Jan 30th.

    Sorry so late answering your questions. You are correct about the trigger point injections. Point to the spot that hurts and zap. They didn't work well for me either. Also, all the injections (besides trigger point) were done under xray so he was able to guide the needle to the correct position. I beleive this is what you were talking about. Thanks for all your help, support, advice, kind words etc.

    I hope you all have a Happy New Year!
  • Happy New Year Michele,

    GREAT that your PCP is referring you to a NS. I know Jan 30th seems a long way off, but looking on the positive side, that would indicate the NS has a good reputation and therefore many patients. A week or two before Christmas I made an appointment to see my cardiologist. The earliest I could get in was Jan 21st. Oh yes, I could have seen another doc in the group sooner, but NO WAY!

    Perhaps a blessing that your insurance would not accept the NS your PM doc referred you to.

    I wish you the very best in your new job. Not easy to even find in today's economy.

    Nice of your PCP to "squeeze" you in. You will have to give him a squeeze back. lol

    Thanks for the "validation" regarding trigger-point injections. Good grief, they are no more than a shot in the dark. Total hit and miss (mainly miss). No wonder they didn't work for you are me.

    You are most welcome, and do stay in touch.

    Enjoy the sunshine and the new year.

  • Hi everyone, :H
    I had 2 ESI's as well as 2 nerveblocks in either Side of the SI Joint,each Time aided by a Fluorscope.Once the Freezing wore off,there was, quite unfortunately, very little,if any, Pain relief.I do know,some obtain a lot of Pein relief,but unfortunately I do not seem to be one of them. :<
    I think,if my Surgeon suggests another ESI and/or selective Nerveblock to alleviate Pain,I would be hardpressed to see why it would work that Time and I would very likely refuse this intervention. :<
  • I just had my third injections yesterday. Overall, I think it really helps take the pain away or lessens it, and give me less anxiety about the pain I could potentially be in if I do not get it. I have been able to travel when I get the injections, which has been really helpful. I will also try to workout ( somewhat) when the injections are working to build up muscle and just recently finished physical therapy, core strengthening is the most important, to help support your lower back. For the actual procedure I recommend taking a valum or something to calm your nerves, because if you are anything like me and are petrified of needles, it will help take the edge off. Each time I have gotten them I have had a different experience I would say. My first time it was a little painful because the joints were very tight, but not too bad. However, the next day I went to work and was in a lot of pain. The second time it barley hurt and I was totally fine the next day. The third time seemed to hurt the worst, on one side, but again NOTHING is as painful as a flare up. I was a little sore yesterday, today I am pretty good and have been out all day so not too bad. Takes me some time for them to kick in, but if I have a little pain I take celebrex which works great. I recommend for the procedure to get an ultrasound guided injection, so there is no chance that this miss. They simply use the ultra sound to mark the spots, spray, give the numbing needle, and then the injections, takes about ten minutes or less id say. Goodluck all! WELL WORTH IT, NOT TOO PAINFUL
  • Hi
    I have had two cervical epidurals - one in feb 2012 and the second in march of 2012. my doctor wants to a third and NO WAY. i started out as a 98 pound 5 foot one inch female and ended up 115 pounds ALL IN TUMMY!!! it started like 3 weeks after my second - i was gaining 1/2 pound to a pound a day. this is a very big deal to me because none of my clothes fit and i have been the same weight for about 20 years. i also can't control my body temp, have VERY frequent urination (four times an hour), muscle soreness and a whole host of other delightful s/e. i got a tiny bit of relief but honestly, he s/e aren't worth it!!!
  • skaadlandsskaadland Posts: 6
    edited 01/27/2014 - 6:39 PM
    I had an Si injection on 13 Dec. Discharge papers said to call Dr or 911 if pain increased. Tried to reach doctor 7 times and he did not answer so, like a fool, I ended up in the ER - didn't need drugs; I was scared. Since then, I had Chiro treatment, and my pain is so intense I don't want to move. Any suggestions
  • Early this morning I had an SI joint injection in my left hip.  When I came out from being under and maybe the first couple of hours I felt fine.  But now hours later I am in a lot of discomfort in my left low back area and down my butt check into my hip and it goes down the top and sides of my thigh.  This actually hurts more than the pain I went in for.  So I have been putting ice packs on the area and trying to limit my activity.  I know they said I may have a little discomfort the first day but I didn't realize it was going to hurt this much.  
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