See piriformis syndrome.
The piriformis injection is performed under fluoroscopic guidance with a nerve stimulator, as described by Dr. Benzon. After the skin is anesthetized, a asmall needle with a stimulating tip is then passed onto the sciatic nerve at the level of the piriformis. The stimulating needle transmits an electrical signal that causes a nerve to fire. When the sciatic nerve is contacted and the muscles in the sciatic distribution begin to twitch, we know we are on the sciatic nerve itself. Steroid is then placed on the sciatic nerve to decrease inflammation on the sciatic nerve. The needle is then withdrawn 1 cm and contrast is injected into the region. The contrast should outline the piriformis muscle. Some anesthetic and steroid are injected into the muscle to decrease the spasm of the muscle.
There is a local anesthetic used in the piriformis injection so there is a chance that the muscles connected to the sciatic nerve can weak or numb for a short period. Other risks include a small chance of soreness after the injection. As with any procedure there is the small risk of bleeding/hematoma, infection, and nerve damage.
If you suffer from piriformis syndrome or sciatic pain without a spinal cause or know someone that does please feel free to consult our physicians at the The Spine and Pain Institute of New York. Our offices are located at 860 Fifth Ave., New York, NY and 2348 Richmond Road, Staten Island, NY 10306.