Sacroiliac Joint Injections/Radio-frequency

The sacroiliac joint is a large joint in the pelvis between the sacrum and the iliac crest. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is more common in women with advanced arthritis or following trauma. Your provider will diagnose this condition with imaging studies as well as a Patrick's test during a physical examination. Often, an injection is needed to confirm this diagnosis.

An injection of anti-inflammatory corticosteroid into the area is used to calm inflammation and relieve pain. Local anesthetic is also injected to aid in the diagnosis of sacroiliac joint dysfunction. If the patient experiences even short-term relief following the procedure, it is very likely that the sacroiliac joint is a significant source of pain. In order to achieve maximum effect once the diagnosis has been confirmed, patients are typically advanced to Radio-frequency/Ablation to provide longer lasting relief.

Radiofrequency is a relatively safe procedure that provides six to twelve months of pain relief. Heat disrupts the sacral nerve’s ability to conduct painful signals. These nerves regenerate over time, but it usually takes six to twelve months for this process to occur. A specialized needle is placed near the source of the affected nerves and the area is tested with sensory and motor. Testing ensures that the needle is far away from the large motor nerves that are responsible for strength and ambulation. Once testing is completed, the area is anesthetized and the needle tips are heated to 60 – 80 degrees Celsius for 60 – 90 seconds, depending on the level being treated.

Side effects of Sacroiliac Joint Injections / Radio-Frequency are rare and your provider will discuss them with you in advance. You will be asked to sign a written consent prior to the procedure, as well as a brief medical history questionnaire. You will also be asked to refrain from taking any NSAIDs or other blood-thinning medications within three days of the procedure in order to prevent increased bruising.

Sacro-iliac Joint Injections / Radio-Frequency, as with most other procedures, are performed in our fluoroscopy suite. X-ray, or fluoroscopy, is used for nearly all injections to ensure safety and accuracy. Intravenous sedation is typically not offered but a mild sedative may be utilized depending on your medical condition.


Should any anesthesia be administered, driving will not be possible directly after the procedure, and arrangements will need to be made by the client for transportation to and from the LifeLinc facility. Normal activities may be resumed the day after the procedure, unless the physician directs the client otherwise. It may take several weeks to experience the full amount of relief. A follow-up evaluation will be scheduled to monitor and access the results of the procedure.

Please contact our office with any additional questions regarding this procedure.