What is the sacroiliac joint?
The sacroiliac joint is the joint that joins the pelvis with the lower portion of the spine. The joint can be palpated, several inches from the midline, over the upper buttocks.
What are the symptoms of sacroiliac joint pain?
The patient with sacroiliac joint pain experiences low back, buttock or hip pain, on one or both sides. Often, pain is worse with activities like getting out of a chair to stand, going from standing to sitting position and walking up stairs.
What causes sacroiliac joint pain?
The sacroiliac joint is under considerable stress from every day activities like standing, walking and sitting. Sometimes, back pain due other spine conditions can lead patients to alter their posture, leading to more stress on the sacroiliac joint and accelerating degeneration of the joint. Prior spinal fusion can also increase the stress on the sacroiliac joint.
How is sacroiliac joint pain evaluated?
The diagnosis of sacroiliac joint pain is made based on a careful history and physical examination. There is considerable overlap between sacroiliac joint pain and other causes of back pain. Special physical examination maneuvers will strongly suggest the diagnosis. X-rays and MRI can rule out other sources of pain, but usually will not suggest a diagnosis of sacroiliac joint pain. Often, the most reliable method of diagnosis is to see if the pain is relieved with an anesthetic injection of the joint.
How is sacroiliac joint pain treated?
The first line in treatment of sacroiliac joint pain is medication and therapy. In patients that don’t respond a spinal pain management evaluation can be performed. In this highly specialized evaluation, we determine what the cause of pain is. Sacroiliac joint pain is often difficult to diagnose and may not have been suspected prior. Spinal injections can bring relief and confirm the source of pain. Minimally invasive surgery is reserved for cases that do not improve with spinal injections.
Sacroilliac joint treatment
The following spinal injections are performed for sacroiliac joint pain:
The following minimally invasive surgical procedures are performed for sacroiliac joint pain: