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Question on injections in sacroilliac

sue in ohiossue in ohio Posts: 57
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Spinal Injections
I am a 61 year old retired school teacher who has fibromyalgia and chronic myofascial pain for 16 years. I had a spinal fusion in the L5 are in 1998. Since I retired from teaching I had controlled my pain using lidoderm patches on the back and voltaren gel on my hips, escpecially at night. I also exercised every day, mainly Leslie Sansone workouts which really helped with my stress and pain.

Then around August the pain increased and my trigger point injections and the deep hip ones for busisits did not work at all. I am scheduled for an MRI with contrast Nov. 24 to find out if there is scar tissue pushing on nerves and also get a closer look into the sacroilliac which they know has arthritis in both joints.

Dr. Pellegrino has mentioned a lot of different injections, mainly the ones into the sacroilliac joints, but I am terrified of them and have huge panic attacks when it comes to medical proceedures. First of all, do doctors ever knock you out to do these injections? If not, how bad are the ones into the sacroilliac? Should I hunt for an orthopedic doctor, a pain management doctor, or a neurologist to do the shots if I can get myself to take them? I am working with a wonderful Christian psychologist who does hypnotherapy and has helped me immensely over the past 9 years so hoepfully I can get past my fear.

I just want to be able to continue my volunteer work at our local food pantry and play on the floor with my grandkids and do my own housework without having to rely on my husband to do so much of it.

sue in ohio


  • I have a Pain Management Dr. give all my injections. The Pm Dr. injects the SI joints and it can be used as a diagnostic tool to see if the pain is coming from this area if you have pain relief right after the injections. http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/injections/facet-rhizotomy-and-sacroiliac-joint-block-injections

    I've had 6 SI injections this year but not everyone requires this many. Many people here have received sedation for their injections so your Dr. will let you know what's involved ahead of time and if you get sedation. I don't get sedation, She just numbs the area first and I feel a little pain but it's short lived and get some relief after.

    I hope your Dr. has more information for you when you get your MRI results and his treatment plan. I hope you get some pain relief soon so you can enjoy your Grandchildren and volunteer work. Take care. 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
  • Good Morning Sue,

    Is it at all possible that you could ask your pyschologist to talk to Dr. P. about the need for sedation and possibly a calming kind of ritual?

    I know sometimes when we're talking to doctors about our fears it's all "wah wah wah" in their ears (ala Charlie Brown and the teacher~! ) so, perhaps coming from a professional who you've been working with for 9 years might allow the 3 of you to come to an agreement on how best to treat your pain without triggering a panic attack and without causing More pain?

    I wish you luck in your endeavor. Sometimes it's hard to accept that something that is supposed to help is going to hurt first, but if we can have it done with care, it can be more palatable. I find with my knee shots that if I remind the doctor about how long it takes for me to get numb (and how I need extra) the shots are not bad at all.

    Please take care and let us know what you decide!
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  • My doc gives two levels of numbing meds, one shallow and another deeper in. The epidurals at L5-S1 did not hurt for me, no discomfort at all. The SI injections are uncomfortable, but no more. I have way more discomfort (and anxiety) from getting injections at the dentist. You feel a lot more pressure as they are forcing the steroid into the general area, it is not so easy to target as they can in an epidural. Expect a bit more discomfort after the procedure, but easily dealt with using some ibuprofen.
    Don't worry!
  • It turns out I have lumbar facet joint disease in the bottom 6 joints and am scheduled for facet injections Jan. 6,13, and 20 but they are knocking me out for them which is the only way I would do it. My new pain management doctor feels this will give me quite a bit of relief from the low back and hip pain, but it won't help the fibro, but that I can live with. It was just such a relief to be validated by an actual diagnosis since those of us with fibro tend to get scorn from many people and even doctors since our pain does not show up on most tests. I must admit that I am still feeling nervous about the injections, but I am seeing my psychologist weekly to deal with the depression and anxiety attacks and he help me a lot plus I am now on the antidepressant celexa which is helping my sleep taking it with my sleep meds.

    sue in ohio
  • Oh, you are so lucky that you get to be knocked out for the injections!! I get nothing at all, just local anesthetic. The first cervical facet joint injection I got, they gave me versed, but it doesn't work on me. They've never given it to me again, not sure why, maybe he realized it doesn't work.

    I'd like to tell you that the injections really aren't that bad, to me they really are not that bad, but that would be like you telling me that looking over the top ledge of a building really isn't that bad (I have a bad fear of heights, to the point where I've fainted on several different occasions, lol). I hope your psych can give you some good advice on how to deal with your anxiety before the procedure. And at least you won't be awake for it!!

    Hope it helps you, keep us posted!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
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