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J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2004 Jul-Aug;12(4):255-65.

Sacroiliac joint pain.

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  • 1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.


The sacroiliac joint is a source of pain in the lower back and buttocks in approximately 15% of the population. Diagnosing sacroiliac joint-mediated pain is difficult because the presenting complaints are similar to those of other causes of back pain. Patients with sacroiliac joint-mediated pain rarely report pain above L5; most localize their pain to the area around the posterior superior iliac spine. Radiographic and laboratory tests primarily help exclude other sources of low back pain. Magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, and bone scans of the sacroiliac joint cannot reliably determine whether the joint is the source of the pain. Controlled analgesic injections of the sacroiliac joint are the most important tool in the diagnosis. Treatment modalities include medications, physical therapy, bracing, manual therapy, injections, radiofrequency denervation, and arthrodesis; however, no published prospective data compare the efficacy of these modalities.

Copyright 2004 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

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