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An Arthrogram is a procedure performed before an MRI or CT scan that involves the injection of contrast solution into a joint space – such as the hip, shoulder, knee, foot/ankle or wrist. The purpose of an Arthrogram is to highlight the affected area, making diagnosis clearer.

Some possible indications for an arthrogram are:

  • To study rotator cuff tears
  • Diagnose joint pain
  • Identify problems with ligaments, cartilage and tendons
  • Detect problems with existing joint replacements

What to Expect

An arthrogram injection, also known as joint radiography, is performed under a local anesthetic. If fluids are present in the joint, a physician may suction the fluid out. With the guidance of Fluoroscopic X-Ray, your physician will place the needle into the joint and inject the contrast solution. The purpose of the contrast solution is to help highlight the area of study by making them opaque. You will be asked to move the joint into a series of positions while a technologist takes images using CT, or MRI. An Arthrogram procedure may take 15 to 20 minutes.

After Your Arthrogram

Our radiologists will carefully analyze your images and provide a report to your physician. Once they have received the report your physician will then discuss the results with you. Your technologist will also provide you with a CD or USB containing the images from your scan when you leave.

You should rest the affected joint for approximately 12 hours following the procedure. Your patient advisor will provide you with further instructions on the care and changing of your bandage.


In rare occasions a patient may have an allergic reaction to the contrast solution. Our staff are expertly trained in caring for patients that may experience severe allergic reactions.

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