Arthrogram (Joint X-Ray)
How To Prepare
Tell your doctor before your
arthrogram if you:
- Are or might be pregnant.
allergic to any type of contrast material.
- Are allergic to iodine.
The dye used for an arthrogram may contain iodine.
- Are allergic to
any medicines, including anesthetics.
- Have ever had a serious
allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) from any substance, such
as a bee sting or eating shellfish.
- Have bleeding problems or are
taking blood-thinning medicines.
arthritis that is bothering you at the time of your
- Have a known infection in or around your joint. The dye may
make your infection worse.
diabetes or take metformin (Glucophage) for your
You will be asked to sign a consent form that says you understand the risks of the test and agree to have it done.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the
test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help
you understand the importance of this test, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
How It Is Done
An arthrogram is usually done by a
doctor who specializes in interpreting X-rays (radiologist).
You will be asked to remove
any jewelry or metal objects from the joint area. You will then sit or lie down
with your joint under an X-ray viewer (fluoroscope)
that is hooked to a video screen that can show X-ray pictures. The skin over
your joint is cleaned with a special soap and draped with sterile towels. A
local anesthetic is used to numb the skin and tissues
over the joint.
A needle is put into your joint area. Joint fluid
may be removed so that more contrast material (such as dye or air) can be put
into the joint. A sample of joint fluid may be sent to a lab to be looked at
under a microscope. The fluoroscope shows that the needle is placed correctly
in your joint. The dye or air is then put through the needle into your joint.
The joint may be injected with both dye and air (double-contrast arthrogram).
The needle is then removed.