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Sacro-iliac (SI) Joint Injections

Diagnosis


Even though this condition is quite common, the symptoms that it shares with other conditions involving pain in the lumbar region typically makes the sacroiliac joint dysfunction difficult to diagnose. In general, the first step of the diagnosis process involves a thorough physical exam during which the patient will be required to perform several simple motions in order for the physician to determine the origin of the pain and whether or not it can be linked to other underlying conditions. The procedure is known as the FABER examination and it usually involves the following tests while laying on the back:


  • Sacral thrust test
  • Pelvic gaping test
  • Pelvic compression test
  • Recreating the pain by performing a movement that will lift the patient's posterior superior iliac spine
  • Gaenslen's test for skeleton-muscular abnormalities
  • The CAM impingement test used to verify possible medical problems in the hip area


In the eventuality that the physician is unable to determine the cause of the lower back pain, then the patient will need to undergo further examination with more specialized diagnosing devices, such as:


  • The X-ray image could be utilized in order to evaluate potential issues with the bone structures of the lumbar spine, hip bones and pelvis
  • The CT imaging will provide a cross-sectional view of the patient's joints and bones
  • The MRI is an essential tool for analyzing the soft and hard tissues present in the painful area
  • If the physician has reasons to suspect that the pain is associated with bone tissue abnormalities, then the patient could undergo a bone scan to determine whether or not they present irregular growths
  • Because there is also a chance that the lower back pain is caused by an infection, the patient could be asked for a blood sample


If neither of the aforementioned examinations help the physician reach a conclusion regarding the source of the pain, then the only solution to finding a diagnosis are the SI joint injections. It is important to note that because this method is very accurate, meaning that the pain should alleviate right away in case the patient is actually suffering this condition, it constitutes the preferred diagnosis approach by all medical professionals.

Marcello Sammarone, M.D.

Pain Management

Parsippany /Morristown