Arthrograms are fluoroscopic procedures where contrast materials are injected into the joint spaces for evaluation beyond the capability of routine x-ray. They are often followed by MRI or CT scans for further information.
This is usually order for the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee or ankle.
Contrast does have a slight health risk. Patients will be given a consent form by the technologist to sign after receiving a full description of potential side effects of the contrast, and the procedure.
The patient will be asked to change clothes and wear an exam gown.
Wearing lose fitting jogging clothes with no metal objects may allow you avoid changing clothes.
Preliminary x-rays will be obtained, and then the radiologist will introduce a small needle into the joint using the fluoroscope for guidance. Deadening medicine will make the procedure relatively painless.
Once the contrast is administered into the joint, the patient will the patient will exercise the joint, then digital x-rays acquired. This usually takes 10 to 15 minutes.
The study can then be followed by either a CT or MRI scan, depending on the referring physician’s request.
The electronic images are acquired, transmitted and stored in a digital format.The images, with the appropriate reports, are immediately available for transmission to referring physicians. Our facility can also accept similar images from other facilities for comparisons to prior studies. This becomes very important in identifying any pertinent changes in the health status of the region of interest.
How do I prepare for an Arthrogram?
No preparation is required. If the patient is on prescribed medication, he/she should continue taking their medication as directed with a small glass of water.
Following the exam, the patient may resume his/her normal diet and activities.