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SI Joint Injection Success!!!

NumbskullNNumbskull Posts: 1,526
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Problems
So, I had my first injection, left side in December. He tried this to see if it was pain from the joint, or actual sciatica, as the symptoms are pretty much the same - pain in butt, running down leg. Now, in April, the pain is just starting to come back. If you have these symptoms, it might be an idea to check out your SI joint, to determine if it is sciatica or the joint.

I had my right side done just two weeks ago, and success again, so far!!

I still have lower back pain, from the DDD and bulging discs, but it did take away the pain that was more towards the sides, the sharper lower back pain that I had, the pain that radiated down my backside and back of my legs. It is that much easier to get up out of chairs, which was pure torture before, and regarding this pain, is easier to stand and walk but of course, my other injuries still make that hard, this just cut out some of the pain. I'll take that!!

Just thought I'd share, as a lot of people who think they have sciatica, as I and my doctors did, could actually have joint issues instead.
APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own


  • It's really encouraging to know that the injection on your sacroiliac joint was successful. I'm due to have the same procedure on 26 May as I seem to have developed SI pain (right side) since my fusion - or perhaps I've always had it, but didn't realise - who knows.

    It's a shame that the pain in your left side is starting to come back though (after a successful injection in December last year). It's a pity your surgeon didn't do BOTH sides 2 weeks ago!

    Can I please ask you:

    Do you think you'll have to go back and get the left one repeated again?
    How many times a year will they give you these injections on each side?
    What exactly do they put into your injections (is it just steroids)?
    Have they told you what the prognosis is (by that I mean, for how many years can you keep having injections if the pain relief isn't thought to be permanent, and is there any other treatment they have suggested)?

    I know you have explained that you have other back issues going on (I'm in the same boat unfortunately), but I hope you get many months of pain relief from these injections - but better still, it would be great if you didn't need them repeating at all eh?
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • Thanks, Sue x 2!! lol

    SueD, the injection is just a steroid, it's done under a flouroscopy. So, as with any steroid injection, they don't give it a long term effect, they hope for at least 6 months anyways. I would get it done again, absolutely, if the pain gets to be as bad as it was, especially on the right side that I just had done. I haven't really discussed long term prognosis with my pm, but I will definitely ask him when I go for my follow-up with him this Thursday, and will let you know what he says. It would be so nice if it lasted for more than a few months!! I wish you luck on your up-coming injection, and hope it helps you as it has me!!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • So good to hear this! I hope the pain relief lasts for months again for you. I also get SI injections and hip injection on my affected leg. Do you get your hip done also? I'm not sure if there can be anything permanent except surgery though. Great to hear. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I'm so glad you found some relief for at least part of what causes you pain Kelly. I know that I have had some success with injections and even though not all have been helpful, this is another example of why we just don't or can't give up, even though we might sometimes think about it !

    I'm glad for you :)))
  • Im so Glad to hear you got some pain relief. Evem if it does not take away the DDD pain it still gives you a bit of a break.
  • I am pretty happy about it. Sure, I still have other pain, but this particular pain has been knocked out, I'll take that break, as Kymberly said!!

    Robin, you're so right, we can't give up!! It's all trial and error to figure out what works for each of us.

    Charry, no I didn't get my hip done, that might be another time. But, with having this "fixed" for the time being at least, my hip hasn't bothered me as much either. I just try to avoid anything that aggravates it if I can, like having to adjust my sleeping position - laying on that side is not a good thing. You know what i mean! Maybe you can answer a coupel of SueD's questions then, as you've had them more than I have. Like how many times a year. I'm guessing because it is steroid, they won't do it more than 4?
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • I had my SI joints injected 6x last year and the maximum dose of Depomedrol steroids was 480mg for the year but I also had the epidural and facet and nerve block injections but this was a study that I was involved in.

    The normal amount of nerve blocks they can give is a round of 3 usually SI injections are given with nerve blocks and epidurals if you need them but it seems like some Doctors have their own limits. The other two PM Drs I saw had a maximum of 3 per year. If I get injections this year it will not be more than 3x.

    Anyways, I wish you a long time of relief again this time. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • It's always nice to hear that something was a success, even if only for a few months! I had a rhizotomy (#4 for me) in October, along with SI joint injections, all under fluoroscopy. I had good relief for about four months, then things started to creep back again. I believe it was Depo-Medrol that was injected.

    I think I've had at least six sets of steroid injections into my SI joints, and some doctors say that is enough for a lifetime, while others say it's okay to continue with them a couple of times a year. Like Charry said, it probably has something to do with quantity. I have also had several rounds of oral prednisone for severe flare-ups, which have settled things down very quickly, as well as many trigger point injections in and around my SI joints, which were done with Marcaine (a longer lasting anaesthetic). Those can give me relief for a few days or a few weeks; it just depends how much nerve activity there is in and around there.

    Enjoy your reprieve!


  • Thanks Tracy! I've also had many many trigger point injections done in my neck. I was going weekly for several months for those, my relief would last just a few hours, but I was so grateful for those few hours of relief. I also had the 2nd RFA (pretty much the same as a rhizotomy) on the right side of my neck done in Jan I think? It's still working, but is declining in relief now. But, I will always be happy about the relief I get, and think of that positively as opposed to thinking "well, it only lasted 4 months" for me, it's "WOW, it lasted 4 months and I had such great relief from it!!!". Now, if he (my pm) could only do everything all at once so I have complete relief all over, I would be the happiest kid in the candy store!!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • I'm always grateful for any relief I get too, and I have to admit that I have had a lot of procedures and I try really I do, to look for the positive outcomes of each treatment, but other than one ESI in my hip I can't in all good conscience, say that any of the others have been successful. To me a success would be where the benefits outweigh the risks and/or I would get at least some relief.

    Now my last two Bil.C2 RF (Oct & March) I had more pain after than I did previously. A person has to expect some pain right after (healing time), but now I'm having more headaches than I had before. Same for ESIs in my C-spine, but neck pain. TPIs have not made things worse, but I can't say (in all honesty) that they have helped.

    I'm almost afraid (not really the right word) to tell my Dr. when I go to my next appt. about this, but of course I have no choice. I can't let him continue these treatments (RF), if they are causing me more harm than good, more pain rather. My topamax was helping for over two yrs and now even with a 50mg increase per day I am not getting good results with that.

    My point in writing all of this is that, whenever I see others having good results with treatments & procedures it gives me hope. My pain isn't really all that horrible or anything that I can't deal with (most days), it's just so draining, but I manage and learn ways to keep things tolerable. If my spine gets worse I would probably not be very happy because I have very bad feet, so I try to keep the pain managed and don't want to do anything to make it worse. I'm not living a very productive life because of this.
  • Robin, one of the RFAs I had was a horrible experience. I developed a really bad case of neuritis that lasted about 6 months. That one, was definitely NOT a success!!! My skin was red, so so itchy (for 6 months) and that one side of my neck, down past the bottom of my shoulder blade was completely numb, couldn't feel a thing. Thankfully, those symptoms have passed. So, the next time he did it (and trust me, it took a LOT of convincing on my pm's part to get me to try it again) but I did. Instead of using radio-frequency though, he used pulse wave, and I'm telling you, it has been good too. Sure I still have pain, but nothing compared to what it was, and that, I consider a success. So I am very grateful that he was so convincing (the fact that he's not hard on the eyes makes it hard to refuse him, too LOL) and I did try it again instead of giving up. Maybe you could ask your doc about the pulse wave. It is less harsh than the RF, and I actually had little to no post-pain/irritation. Something to think about for you, anyways. I do agree about the TPIs, while they had no long term lasting effects, it was those precious few hours that gave me relief, and allowed me to catch up on much needed sleep, so that, I consider a success, although a small one, but a success regardless. It is hard to maintain the positive thinking, trust me, I have my moments too (as I'm sure my bf would eagerly tell you, lol) but I make myself remember how much better I feel, when I'm thinking positively. It has taken me a lot of practice, but it is doable! I'm sure you know that, considering how far you've come with everything you've gone through. Robin, my dear, I consider you a strong person and I know that you will keep up your great attitude! I do hope that your doctor can find a new course of action for you!! Seriously, ask him about the pulse wave, it might be worth a try for you!! If you want, I can pm you my doc's info, if yours wants to learn more about it if he doesn't already know. Take care!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
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