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Arthrogram

Test

An arthrogram is a special type of joint imaging test that uses a contrast medium to highlight your tendons, muscles, and other joint structures to create a detailed image.

Arthrogram Test in Long Island, Queens, & Manhattan

What is an arthrogram?

An arthrogram, often referred to as a joint x-ray, is an exam used to view the soft tissues of your body, including muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and other joint structures. The exam involves using a contrast medium, which is an injectable material that enhances the quality of the resulting images.

An arthrogram can be performed on various joints in the body, including the:

  • Elbow
  • Wrist
  • Jaw
  • Ankle
  • Knee
  • Shoulder

An MRI arthrogram, which is an arthrogram that is done in conjunction with an MRI (e.g., MRI knee arthrogram, MRI wrist arthrogram), is one type of arthrogram that may be recommended to provide information about the joint and its surrounding tissues. In addition, arthrograms may also be performed in conjunction with a CT scan. Speak with your doctor to determine which type of test is most appropriate for your needs.

Why is an arthrogram used?

Your doctor may recommend an arthrogram if you are suffering from ongoing joint pain or swelling. Testing can help your doctor to:

  • Diagnose joint problems, such as tears, disease, and degeneration
  • Evaluate abnormal growths or cysts
  • Guide needle placement for pain injection treatments, such as cortisone injections

What does an arthrogram involve?

When you arrive at Neighborhood Radiology Services for your arthrogram, you will be asked to remove any metal or clothing that may get in the way of the testing. You will be instructed to sit or lie down, depending on the location of the joint being examined.

During the test, a small needle will be inserted into the joint area to inject the contrast medium. A local anesthetic may be applied to reduce any discomfort felt during the injection. Then, your joint is viewed using a fluoroscope, collecting detailed images of the joint. Your doctor may ask you to move the joint a certain way or to hold perfectly still. Be sure to speak with your doctor before the exam about what to expect and follow instructions during the test in order to ensure the best quality images.

For patients who are undergoing a CT scan or MRI after an arthrogram, a certain type of medicine (called epinephrine) may be mixed with the dye to stop the dye from spreading into other tissues.

An arthrogram typically takes between 30 and 60 minutes. After the test, your doctor will go over the results with you and explain next steps. You may experience joint swelling or minor discomfort after the exam. Applying ice and taking over-the-counter pain relievers may be used to help with discomfort. It is important to also rest the joint for a couple days following the exam.

What are the benefits of undergoing an arthrogram at Neighborhood Radiology Services?

Undergoing an arthrogram with our board-certified experts has the following benefits:

  • Performed using the latest and highest quality equipment certified by the American College of Radiology (ACR)
  • Provides more detailed images than traditional x-rays
  • Performed in one office visit
  • Minimal discomfort during procedure
  • Little downtime

If you need to book an arthrogram, contact our board-certified radiologists at Neighborhood Radiology Services, with locations throughout the New York Metropolitan Area. Fill out the form on this page to request an appointment or call 800-220-2220 to learn more about our services.

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