Complications Following Diagnostic and Therapeutic Sacroiliac Joint Region Injections in Horses: a Study Describing Clinicians’ Experiences 

Annamaria Nagy, Sue Dyson

Beautiful color photo of a dark brown Andalucian Stallion horse with powerful muscles and a shiny mottled coat standing in front of a wall in Spain.
In this cross-sectional questionnaire, clinicians reported that horses experienced complications more commonly following diagnostic SI injections than therapeutic or combined injections. iStock

The aim of this cross-sectional questionnaire survey was to describe complications following diagnostic, therapeutic and combined sacroiliac (SI) joint region injections in horses and the details of how these are routinely performed by a large number of clinicians.

Clinicians (members of American and European specialist colleges and veterinarians known to the authors) who had performed ≥1 SI joint region injection were invited to complete an online questionnaire. Data collected included the clinicians’ experience in diagnostic, therapeutic and combined SI joint region injections; details of the injection technique; volume and substance used; and the type of complications seen following SI joint region anaesthesia, medications, and combined injections, respectively. Descriptive data analysis was performed. The association between any complications seen, and the clinicians’ experience, technique, volume, and substance used, were assessed using binary logistic regression.

Incidence of Complication Following SI Injections in Horses

Of the 212 respondents, 110 had performed diagnostic, 187 therapeutic and 49 combined injections. Clinicians experienced significantly more complications after diagnostic (53/110) than after therapeutic (33/187) or combined (6/49) injections (p<0.01). Most clinicians used a cranial contralateral blind approach for diagnostic injections (74/110). The most common complications were hindlimb weakness/ataxia after all types of injections (diagnostic: 44/110, 40%, 95% CI 30.8-49.8; therapeutic: 15/187, 8.0%, 95% CI 4.6-12.9; combined: 2/49, 4.1%, 95% CI 0.5-14.0). Death or horses requiring euthanasia were reported (after therapeutic injections: 5/187; diagnostic injections: 1/110).

Bottom Line

Complications were experienced more commonly following diagnostic injections than after therapeutic or combined SI joint region injections, but the types and distribution of complications were similar.

What did you think of this article?

Thank you for your feedback!

equimanagement signup


aaep media partner
avma plit
weva logo
nzeva logo
iselp logo
aaevt logo
naep logo
epm society partner logo
mexican equine vet association logo