Arthrogram

An Arthrogram is an imaging study used to assess your joint problem, in which contrast fluid/medication is injected into the joint being studied, then X-rays, CT, or MRI are used to create images. It may also be used to inject medications for pain management.

Preparation

  • Arrival time will depend on the exams ordered. Scheduling will inform you when to arrive.
  • Bring a list of your current medications.
  • If you are currently taking a blood thinner (Coumadin, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Lovenox, Plavix), or one of the newer biologic blood thinners, please notify your screening location.
  • If you are taking a medication prior to the MRI portion of the exam such as Xanax or Valium, please wait to take it until arriving for the Arthrogram appointment.
  • Notify the department in advance if you tend to be frightened by tightly confined spaces as in elevators, small examination rooms, and other similar circumstances; we may have to find alternatives to perform the exam or we may have to give medication ahead of the procedure.

Procedure

  • X-rays of your joint are taken.
  • The skin around the joint is cleaned and then covered with drapes.
  • The area around your joint is numbed.
  • Contrast fluid/medication is injected into your joint while x-rays are taken. 
  • X-rays are again taken.
  • Your provider may order an MRI or CT test to be performed immediately following the x-rays.
  • The procedure itself can take one to two hours.
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