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Diagnostic Test for SI Joint Instability or “Looseness?”

After 3 years of searching for the cause of all of my pain Neurologist has decided to focus on my SI Joint (left side) to see if that may be the culprit. I am scheduled for my first SI Joint injection for both diagnostic purposes and, hopefully, pain relief this coming week. I wondered if anyone out there could explain to me what types of diagnostic tools are typically used to assess SI Joint instability as well as if the SI Joint on one side of your body is “loose” or not. Any help those who have been through all sorts of testing can provide would be much-appreciated.




  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,434

    I've dealt with SI Joint problems for a number of years.  So far, the best diagnostic tool has been a doctor's clinical examination!

    The formal tools (ie MRI, X-Ray, CT-Scans) will not always show any SI problem.   But once you have had SI joint problems, as a patient you know what they are and doctors can pretty much pin point them.

    For me, each time I had a SI joint inflammation the symptoms were

    1. Lower back pain
    2. Groin pain
    3. Buttocks pain (but not traveling down the leg)

    Please take a look at these medical articles   All about SI Joint problems

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • Were your symptoms of SI joint dysfunction similar to the hip issues you had prior to hip replacements? If they were similar were there any obvious differences?

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  • Hi! I am waiting for approval for an MRI for a similar problem. I have an active SI problem and had the hip ruled out with a good physical exam and x-ray. I have replaced knees and one hip and now that the other hip area hurt I thought here we go but the hip is OK it is the SI joint. I was recommended to have PT (really been useless with the factories around here) and injections (I just hate that idea again though I know it will be required). I had a laminectomy for a bulging disk on the other side of my spine years ago and I am hoping if the MRI shows this to be the case I can go right to a repair instead of all these other painful treatments and then a repair. Can anyone chime in? I totally apologize for hijacking the post I do not mean to...I want to participate as it is so similar. Can you explain what the looseness aspect is? How can you tell? 

  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,460
    edited 01/15/2019 - 8:39 PM

    I talked to a lady in her 80s today who had a normal hip x-ray yet continued to have pain so her doctor ordered a series of digital motion x-rays.

    These special x-rays revealed that she needs a hip replacement ASAP.

    Her pain locations:

    - right groin 

    - right buttocks 

    - right hip/flank 

    - right low back area 

    I’ve seen data online that indicates the MRI sensitivity for uncovering certain hip abnormalities is only 30-35% while an MR arthrogram has an accuracy rate of 95 to 100%.

    In my experience an old school x-ray is just one tool in the toolbox and isn’t proof that all is well with the part of the body being x-rayed.

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