On occasion, you may feel numb, slightly weak or have an odd feeling in your leg for a few hours after the injection. You may notice a slight increase in your pain lasting for several days as the numbing medication wears off before the cortisone is effective. Ice will typically be more helpful than heat in the first 2-3 days after the injection. You may begin to notice an improvement in your pain 2-5 days after the injection. If you do not notice improvement within 10 days after the injection, it is unlikely to occur. You may take your regular medications after the procedure, but try to limit them for the first 4-6 hours after the procedure, so that the diagnostic information obtained from the procedure is accurate. You may be referred for physical or manual therapy after the injection while the numbing medicine is effective and/or over the next several weeks while the cortisone is working.
Patients usually remain in the hospital for one day after a minimally invasive SI fusion surgery. Postoperative pain control will be achieved with the use of IV pain medication, epidural pain medication, and/or oral pain medications. Patients are discharged home on oral pain medication. Patients begin a physical therapy program in the hospital and will use crutches or a cane to walk for several weeks after surgery. The physical therapist works with the patient to learn how to get out of bed and walk safely with crutches. Patients need to be comfortable with walking, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of bed before going home. The final goal is to make sure the gastrointestinal and urinary systems are working appropriately. Patients must be able to eat a regular meal and urinate without difficulty prior to leaving the hospital. Make sure you understand your post-operative plan before your surgery date.
We would like speak to you the day after your procedure regarding your response. Specifically, we would like to know if you experienced pain relief (if so, how long did it last), your current pain score, and if you are experiencing any problems. If you experience severe pain, new numbness or weakness of your legs, a temperature of or greater, or signs of infection in the area of the injection (redness, swelling, heat, discharge), you should call the Pain Management Center immediately at 410-448-6824 during business hours, and 410-448-2500 after hours to have the pain management physician on call paged to your number.