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Piriformis Injection

The piriformis muscle is one of the muscles deep in the buttock that rotates the leg outward.

What is Piriformis injection?

The piriformis muscle is one of the muscles deep in the buttock that rotates the leg outward. The sciatic nerve runs very close to this muscle. If the muscle becomes tight, it can put pressure on the sciatic nerve causing pain in the buttock and leg. The procedure involves injecting a small amount of local anesthetic (numbing medication) and steroid (anti-inflammatory) into the muscle to reduce the pain.

What is the purpose of a piriformis injection?

The steroid will help reduce the inflammation and/or swelling around the nerve that passes near or through the piriformis muscle. This in turn may reduce your pain, numbness, tingling or other symptoms that may contribute to nerve inflammation, irritation or swelling. Pain relief may last months or years.

How is the procedure done?

You will be lying on an X-ray table on your stomach. Blood pressure, heart rate and breathing are monitored. The landmarks for approaching the piriformis muscle are identified using fluoroscopy (X-ray) guidance. The injection site is cleansed with an antiseptic soap and it is numbed. Your physician inserts a needle into the muscle. A nerve stimulator is also used to make sure the medication is injected close to the sciatic nerve. You will be asked to let the physician know when you feel a buzzing, tingling or pressure sensation in your leg and foot. At this time, steroid is injected followed by a small amount of local anesthetic.

What are the side effects and complications?

Side effects and complications are uncommon. Potential complications include:

  • Allergic reaction to medication
  • Increased pain
  • Temporary numbness and weakness in your leg
  • Infection

How should I prepare myself for this procedure?

  • A driver is required to give you a ride home after the procedure.
  • If you are on any blood thinners, please call the clinic at 701-551-6980 to receive instructions about your medication.

When should I call my doctor?

You should call us immediately if any of the following occur:

  • If you experience any swelling, redness, or drainage from the site of the injection
  • If you have a fever greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • If you experience new or worsening back pain
  • If you experience a new numbness or weakness in your legs
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