The predictive value of provocative sacroiliac joint stress maneuvers in the diagnosis of sacroiliac joint syndrome

Curtis W. Slipman, Elliot B. Sterenfeld, Larry H. Chou, Richard Herzog, Edward Vresilovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the clinical validity of provocative sacroiliac joint (SIJ) maneuvers in making the diagnosis of sacroiliac joint syndrome (SIJS). Design: Prospective constructive cohort study using sacroiliac joint block (SIJB) as the diagnostic gold standard. Setting: Tertiary care center. Patients: Consecutive patients describing low back pain including the region of the sacral sulcus. Physical examination revealed a positive response to three provocative SD maneuvers, two of which had to be Patrick's test and pain with palpation over the ipsilateral sacral sulcus. Interventions: All subjects underwent fluoroscopically guided SIJB. Main Outcome Measures: Response to SIJB was assessed with visual analog scale (VAS) ratings before and after the block. A reduction of the VAS rating by at least 80% was considered a positive response to SIJB. Results: Fifty consecutive patients met our criteria and underwent SIJB. Thirty patients had positive response to SIJB, making up the positive SIJS group. Twenty patients had less than 80% pain reduction with SIJB and thus comprised the negative SIJS group. The positive predictive value of provocative SIJ maneuvers in determining the presence of SIJS is therefore 60%. Conclusions: Our results do not support the use of provocative SIJ maneuvers to confirm a diagnosis of SIJS. Rather, these physical examination techniques can, at best, enter SIJS into the differential diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-292
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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