This injection procedure is performed to diagnose and relieve the pain of piriformis syndrome, an irritation of the sciatic nerve caused by a contraction of the piriformis muscle in the buttocks.
In preparation for the procedure, the patient lies on the stomach, and the skin at the injection site is numbed. Then, the physician uses a fluoroscope to carefully guide a needle into the piriformis muscle. A small amount of contrast dye is injected to confirm that the needle is positioned properly. When the needle is correctly positioned, an anesthetic and steroid mediation is injected into the muscle. The medication will reduce the inflammation, relieving pain. Once the injection is complete, the patient is taken to a recovery area. If the injection is used for diagnostic purposes, the physician will wait to see if muscle pain temporarily subsides after the injection, which would confirm that the piriformis muscle is the source of the pain.