A Randomized Controlled Trial of Fluoroscopically-Guided Sacroiliac Joint Injections: A Comparison of the Posteroanterior and Classical Oblique Techniques

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Objective: The sacroiliac joint can be a primary source of pain or part of multifactorial syndromes. As there is no single historical, physical examination-based, or radiological feature that definitively establishes a diagnosis of sacroiliac joint pain, diagnostic blocks are regarded as the gold standard. The primary aim of this randomized trial was to compare the posteroanterior approach with the classic oblique approach for sacroiliac joint injection based on an assessment of procedure times and patient-reported pain outcomes in subjects scheduled for fluoroscopically-guided sacroiliac joint injections.

Methods: Thirty patients were randomized into 2 groups of 15 patients each. The endpoints measured included the total length of procedure time, fluoroscopic time, needling time (length of time the needle was maneuvered), and pre- and postprocedure visual analogue scale pain scores.

Results: The posteroanterior approach was significantly shorter in terms of procedure time (p=0.03) and needling time (p=0.01) than the oblique approach. Adjusting for body mass index, the mean procedure and needling times were significantly shorter in the posteroanterior group than in the oblique group.

Conclusion: This study of the posteroanterior approach for fluoroscopic-guided sacroiliac joint injection observed shorter times for fluoroscopy, needling, and the overall procedure than were recorded for the widely prevalent oblique approach. This may translate to lower radiation exposure, lower procedural costs, and enhanced ergonomics of fluoroscopicallyguided sacroiliac joint injections.

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ePub ahead of print