Skip to Content

Patient Instructions - Arthrogram

An arthrogram is a procedure where X-rays are taken of a joint after a contrast material (X-ray dye and air) is injected into the joint. The contrast highlights the structures and surfaces of a joint, such as the bones, soft tissue and the sac containing the joint.

An arthrogram is used to diagnose a joint problem such as tears in ligaments, joint displacement or dislocation, or the presence of abnormal growths.

Radiation is used for this exam. Please notify your doctor of you are pregnant. Also notify your doctor if you are allergic to X-ray dye.

Before your Procedure

  • You must be off Coumadin for 3 days. Resume your Coumadin the day after the procedure.

  • You may continue to take your other medications including pain medication.

During your Procedure

  • Your skin will be cleaned and then numbed.

  • A needle is then inserted into the joint.

  • Joint fluid may be removed for lab analysis.

  • Contrast material is then injected into the joint and you will be asked to move your joint around to distribute the contrast. You may feel fullness in your joint as the contrast is injected.

  • A series of X-rays are taken as your joint is moved through its entire range of motion.

  • Occasionally the doctor will order a CAT scan or MRI after the arthrogram to better visualize the joint.

  • The procedure usually takes less than 1 hour to complete.

After your Procedure

  • You may resume your normal activities as tolerated. Your joint may be stiff for a day or two, until the injected material has re-absorbed.

  • Notify your doctor of any signs of infection at the injection site such as fever, redness, swelling or drainage.

  • Your doctor will be contacted with the results of your test and will discuss the results with you.

Providing safe, quality patient care is our highest priority. To help ensure quality and safety, we ask that you do not bring young children with you to your appointments, as children are not allowed to accompany you during Imaging procedures. Staff is unable to monitor your child in your absence.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your provider. 

Related Locations

Connect With CentraCare