What is an Arthrogram?
An arthrogram is a procedure used to demonstrate the structures inside a joint (cartilage and joint surface). The area viewed could be your shoulder, ankle, knee, or hip.
The area is cleaned by the Radiologist (doctor) who will inject some local anaesthetic to numb the area. Often ultrasound is used to guide the needle to the joint accurately. A small amount of contrast medium (and sometimes air) is injected to show the joint surface
Left shoulder arthrogram with contrast and air in the joint
How is the contrast removed?
Contrast is absorbed into the blood and excreted from your body.
What happens after the Arthrogram?
The joint must be rested for the day. Do not actively lift your arm up if the shoulder was examined, don't walk excessively if your hip, knee, or ankle was injected. You will have been asked to have a combination examination, for example, MRI or CT after the Arthrogram. If this is the case, this booking would have been made including the Arthrogram. CT is located at the Anglesea Imaging Centre. MRI is just nearby at Anglesea MRI.
After the examination, you may go home and rest. Results and CD will be sent out to your referring Doctor/Specialist.
Why an Intra-articular or Tendon Sheath Steroid Injection?
Steroid injections are administered by a Radiologist under ultrasound guidance. They are given to a joint to reduce inflammation and adhesions within the joint, which are producing pain and limiting movement.
Using ultrasound guidance, the steroid injection is administered into the affected joint or around the affected tendon. Local anaesthetic is given first to numb the area. The anti-inflammatory steroid used is called cortisone. Tell the Radiologist if you are diabetic - this is important, as the steroid can upset your diabetic control. An information and consent form will be given to you on the day.
Does it hurt?
Some discomfort may result, but the needles used are very small. Leakage of fluid from the joint can be uncomfortable too, but this chance is minimised if movement is limited for the rest of the day after the steroid injection.
Expected outcome after the steroid injection:
Pain will be reduced along with inflammation of the joint. Its effect builds up during the first few days and should last a few months. An aftercare information sheet will be given to you at the end of your session.
After the examination
The Radiologist will provide a written report of the procedure to your referring Doctor/Specialist.
Please settle your account on the day of the examination.
Please contact Mokoia Radiology for an appointment on 0800 466 564)