For individuals suffering from SI joint pain, it’s important to choose the most effective and least risky form of treatment. SI joint injections are prescribed to target the SI joint and alleviate pain symptoms, while disc replacement can be effective in the long-term treatment of SI joint dysfunction. Review the following facts when choosing between the two.

Efficacy

Because disc replacement for SI joint pain is a relatively new procedure, its efficacy has not been studied to the same extent as the efficacy of SI joint injections. Though existing research supports the effectiveness of disc replacement surgery in treating pain, SI joint injections are generally attempted prior to undergoing surgical procedures.

Complications

Compared to disc replacement, the potential complications from SI joint injections are mild. Generally, risks include bruising, soreness or infection of the injection site, with some potential for allergy to the medication within the injection. With disc replacement surgery, the complications can include infection, implant failure, stenosis, spinal rigidity and various other risks.

Recovery

When comparing SI joint injections with disc replacement surgery, their recovery processes appear very different. Recovery from an SI joint injection typically takes 1-2 days, during which there are activity limits. Complete recovery from disc replacement, however, can take months. To make the best decision, discuss each option with your doctor.