What is Arthrography?

Arthrography is the radiographic examination of a joint after the injection of a dye-like contrast material and/or air to outline the soft tissue and joint structures on the images.

Arthrography is done most often to identify abnormalities associated with the shoulder, wrist, hip, knee and ankle.

What will the exam be like?

Once you arrive at the imaging department, you will be asked to change into a gown before your examination. You will also be asked to remove jewelry or any metal objects that could obscure the images.

Preliminary x-rays are taken by a Radiologic Technologist. Next, the skin around your joint is cleansed with antiseptic. The Radiologist may inject a local anesthetic into the area around the joint.

Contrast material and/or air are then injected into the joint space. After the injection the needle is removed. You will be asked to move the affected joint to more evenly distribute the contrast material. Images are then obtained with the joint in various positions.

What will I experience during the procedure?

Initially, you will experience a slight pinprick and momentary burning as the anesthesia is injected into the joint area. You may feel a fullness as the joint is filled and you may feel and hear gurgling when the joint is moved.

How do I prepare for the exam?

You will be informed of what to do to prepare for your exam when you schedule your appointment.

How long will the exam take?

Generally an Arthrogram will take 30-60 minutes to complete. Sometimes your physician will also order a MRI to follow the Arthrogram. If so, the MRI will take an additional 60 minutes.

Following the exam:

  • After the examination, vigorous exercise is not recommended for 12 hours.
  • You may experience swelling and discomfort or hear a crackling noise in the joint.
  • Please follow all discharge instructions you are given following your exam.

Exam results:

A Radiologist will study the images and a typed report will be sent to your designated health care provider.

Special note:

Women should always inform their health care provider or technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.

If you should have any questions regarding this procedure, please call 815-942-2932 ext. 7130.

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