Sacroiliac Joint Denervation

Pain arising from the sacroiliac joints is common and is responsible for 15-25% of low back pain. It is typically experienced as pain on one or both sides of the low back or upper buttock region. It is difficult to distinguish from other causes of low back pain. Diagnostic local anaesthetic blocks to the nerves supplying the sacroiliac joint (see lateral branch blocks) or into the joint itself (see Sacroiliac Joint  injection) can confirm the diagnosis of sacroiliac joint pain.

Radiofrequency sacroiliac joint denervation uses radiofrequency energy to disrupt the function of the nerves from the sacroiliac joint so that they can no longer transmit pain signals from the joint. It is performed as a day procedure using specialised x-ray imaging. All patients are given intravenous sedation to ensure they are as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure. The doctor performing the procedure will use local anaesthetic to numb your skin before accurately inserting a needle using x-ray guidance next to the nerves to the sacroiliac joint. Once the needle is in the correct position, the area will be numbed and radiofrequency energy used to disrupt the nerve. Several nerves need to be treated to ensure complete treatment. You will be monitored for 1-2 hours following the procedure prior to discharge.

Sacroiliac joint denervation is a minimally invasive procedure and serious side effects are rare. You may experience local bruising and discomfort and may feel sore for up to one or two weeks. This is normal, and is usually due to muscle and nerve irritation. Full pain relief from the procedure may take several weeks. Most patients are able to return to work within two days following the procedure.

Nerves regenerate after radiofrequency sacroiliac joint denervation. This takes a variable period of time. Your pain may or may not return when the nerves regenerate. If it does, the procedure can be repeated on multiple occasions as required.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. Northern Private Pain Centre can facilitate you obtaining a second opinion. Please discuss this with us.