The sacroiliac joint: anatomy, physiology and clinical significance.
ABSTRACT The sacroiliac joint (SIJ) is a putative source of low back pain. The objective of this article is to provide clinicians with a concise review of SIJ structure and function, diagnostic indicators of SIJ-mediated pain, and therapeutic considerations. The SIJ is a true diarthrodial joint with unique characteristics not typically found in other diarthrodial joints. The joint differs with others in that it has fibrocartilage in addition to hyaline cartilage, there is discontinuity of the posterior capsule, and articular surfaces have many ridges and depressions. The sacroiliac joint is well innervated. Histological analysis of the sacroiliac joint has verified the presence of nerve fibers within the joint capsule and adjoining ligaments. It has been variously described that the sacroiliac joint receives its innervation from the ventral rami of L4 and L5, the superior gluteal nerve, and the dorsal rami of L5, S1, and S2, or that it is almost exclusively derived from the sacral dorsal rami. Even though the sacroiliac joint is a known putative source of low back and lower extremity pain, there are few findings that are pathognomonic of sacroiliac joint pain. The controlled diagnostic blocks utilizing the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) criteria demonstrated the prevalence of pain of sacroiliac joint origin in 19% to 30% of the patients suspected to have sacroiliac joint pain. Conservative management includes manual medicine techniques, pelvic stabilization exercises to allow dynamic postural control, and muscle balancing of the trunk and lower extremities. Interventional treatments include sacroiliac joint, intra-articular joint injections, radiofrequency neurotomy, prolotherapy, cryotherapy, and surgical treatment. The evidence for intra-articular injections and radiofrequency neurotomy has been shown to be limited in managing sacroiliac joint pain.
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ABSTRACT: A retrospective audit and examination of anatomic findings. To examine the effectiveness of sensory stimulation-guided radiofrequency neurotomy for the treatment of recalcitrant sacroiliac joint pain. Sacroiliac joint-mediated pain is a distinct clinical entity. The prevalence of intra-articular pain arising from the sacroiliac joint in patients with low back pain has been estimated at 15% to 30%. Unfortunately, the clinical success of current treatment methods for chronic sacroiliac pain is discouraging. Based on the anatomy of the sacral posterior primary rami and their lateral branch nerves, an anatomically based sensory stimulation-guided radiofrequency technique was developed to overcome the inherent challenge posed by the variable topography of the sacral lateral branch nerves. MATERIALS AND METHODS ANATOMIC STUDY: Meticulous dissection exposing the dorsal sacral plexus and lateral branch nerves entering the sacroiliac joint complex was performed on three cadaveric specimens. Small-gauge wires were placed adjacent to the lateral branch nerves entering the joint and over the dorsal sacrum to the dorsal sacral foramina. Fluoroscopic images were obtained correlating the location and number of these branches arising from the posterior primary rami of S1-S3 to identifiable bony landmarks. CLINICAL STUDY: A retrospective chart review was performed selecting patients who underwent sensory stimulation-guided sacral lateral branch radiofrequency neurotomy after dual analgesic sacroiliac joint deep interosseous ligament analgesic testing between February 17, 1998 and March 15, 1999. A total of 14 patients met inclusion criteria for this retrospective study. Success was defined as greater than 60% consistent subjective relief and greater than a 50% consistent decrease in visual integer pain score, maintained for at least 6 months after the procedure. Sixty-four percent of patients experienced a successful outcome, with 36% experiencing complete relief. Fourteen percent of patients did not achieve any improvement. No patients experienced a complication or worsening of their pain from the procedure. A sensory stimulation-guided approach toward the identification and subsequent radiofrequency thermocoagulation of symptomatic sacral lateral branch nerves appears to offer significant therapeutic advantages over existing therapies for the treatment of chronic sacroiliac joint complex pain.Spine 11/2003; 28(20):2419-25. · 2.16 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This was a cross-sectional analytic study. In relation to pain from the sacroiliac joint, this study sought to establish 1) its prevalence, 2) the validity of pain provocation, 3) whether any arthrographic abnormalities predict a response to joint block, and 4) whether certain pain patterns discriminate patients with this diagnosis. The true prevalence of sacroiliac joint pain is unknown and despite a plethora of clinical tests, none of these tests has been validated against an established criterion standard. To our knowledge, arthrography of the sacroiliac joint had never been studied. Forty-three consecutive patients with chronic low back pain maximal below L5-S1 were investigated with sacroiliac joint blocks under image intensifier using radiographic contrast followed by 2% lignocaine. Information was obtained on pain provocation, analgesia, and image pattern. Thirteen patients (30%) obtained gratifying relief of their pain. Nine of these also exhibited tears of their ventral capsule. Groin pain was the only pain referral pattern found to be associated with response to sacroiliac joint block. The sacroiliac joint is a significant source of pain in patients with chronic low back pain and warrants further study.Spine 02/1995; 20(1):31-7. · 2.16 Impact Factor
Article: Movement of the sacroiliac joint.Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research 06/1974; · 2.79 Impact Factor