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What is an Arthrogram?
An Arthrogram is a test using X-rays to obtain a series of pictures of a joint after a contrast material (such as a dye, water, air, or a combination of these) has been injected into the joint. This allows your doctor to see the soft tissue structures of your joint, such as tendons, ligaments, muscles, cartilage, and your joint capsule. These structures are not seen on a plain X-ray without contrast material. A special type of X-ray, called fluoroscopy, is used to take pictures of the joint.
Other tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography / computed axial tomography / computerized axial tomography (CT / CAT Scan), give different information about a joint. They may be used with an Arthrogram or when an Arthrogram does not give a clear picture of the joint.
How To Prepare
Tell your doctor before you Arthrogram if you:
- Are or might be pregnant.
- Are 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 shellfish.
- Have asthma.
- Have bleeding problems or are taking blood-thinning medicines.
- Have a known infection in or around your joint. The dye may make your infection worse.
- Have diabetes or take metformin (Glucophage) for your diabetes.