Prepare for an Arthrogram

Arthrography is the x-ray examination of a joint that uses a special form of x-ray called fluoroscopy and a contrast material containing iodine. A needle is placed into the joint for the arthrogram and contrast and/or medication are put into the joint after taking out any fluid from the joint.

Patient Safety Tips Prior to an Arthrogram

  • Please let us know if you have any allergies or adverse reactions to medications.
  • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant, please tell your doctor or technologist.
  • Please leave your valuables at home or in your room in the hospital.
  • Please let us now if you need interpreting services, this can be arranged for you.
  • Please bring a list of your current medications with you (out-patient).  If you are taking blood thinning medications, such as Plavix or Coumadin, contact your doctor to discuss stopping these medications.

Preparation for the procedure

  • You may eat breakfast the morning of the test.  Medications may be taken with a sip of water.
  • Outpatients, please arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled exam time.
  • You will be given a contrast screening form to complete.
  • The technologist will verify your identification and exam requested.
  • There will be an opportunity for you to talk to the radiologist about the plan for the procedure and give your consent.
  • Inpatients will be scheduled and an escort will transport you to Radiology.

During the procedure

  • The duration of the procedure will vary, but the average is about 45 minutes.
  • The technologist will position you on the exam table.
  • The technologist and radiologist will be available to answer any questions.

Arthrogram using real-time CT fluoro

After the procedure

  • In certain situations, a CT or MRI may be done for additional imaging.
  • You should rest the joint as much as possible for 24 hours after the test.
  • If you have swelling in the joint or tenderness, apply ice intermittently.
  • You may take an over-the-counter pain reliever
  • If swelling or tenderness lasts more than 2 days, contact your doctor.

If you have any questions, please call the Radiology Resource Nurse at 415-353-4030.

Arthrogram using CT step and shoot technique