Conventional arthrography is the x-ray examination of a joint that uses fluoroscopy and iodinated contrast material injected into the joint space. Some arthrography examinations also use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and uses gadolinium contrast as well.  When iodine is injected into the joint space, it coats the inner lining of the joint structures and appears bright white on an arthrogram, allowing the radiologist to assess the anatomy and function of the joint.  MR arthrography involves the injection of a contrast material into the joint, just like in conventional arthrography, except that the contrast material is different. As in conventional arthrography, the contrast material outlines the structures within the joint.

Arthrographic images help physicians evaluate alterations in structure and function of a joint and help to determine the possible need for treatment, including surgery or joint replacement.  The procedure is most often used to identify abnormalities within the shoulder, wrist, hip, knee and ankle.  The procedure is also used to help diagnose persistent, unexplained joint pain or discomfort.

Conventional or Traditional Arthrography

Our X-ray Machines and Technologists

Traditional arthrography uses X-ray technology. Our x-ray machines are “digital”, meaning that we use computers to improve the quality of the images, and at the same time using a lower x-ray dose.  Our knowledgeable, professional technologists will put you at ease and answer all of your questions before the exam.

How to Prepare for Arthrography

No special preparation is necessary before traditional arthrography. Food and fluid intake do not need to be restricted. Inform your physician if you have any allergies.

What to Expect

Our technologist will take a brief medical history.  You may be asked to remove any clothes with metal buckles, and wear a gown during the exam. You may also be asked to remove jewelry, dentures, eye glasses and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the x-ray images.  You will then be asked to lie on the examination table and we will take x-rays of the joint which we will compare later with the arthrograms.  Next, the radiologist will cleanse the area with antiseptic and will inject a local anesthetic to numb the area.  The area where the needle is to be inserted will be sterilized and covered with a surgical drape. The radiologist will then insert a needle into the joint space and will inject the contrast material and sometimes air, and then will remove the needle. You will then be asked to move the affected joint to distribute the contrast material throughout the space. You will then move to our X-ray room to have your X-ray completed. The conventional arthrography exam is usually completed within 30 minutes.

Your Results

Your doctor(s) will receive a full detailed written report from our highly trained radiologists within one day.  We will provide you with a CD copy of your exam, for your personal records or to bring to your referring physician on your follow-up visit.  Our goal is to provide you with the highest level of customer service and image quality in a caring and supportive environment.
        

MR Arthrography

Our MR and Technologists

At Guilford Radiology, our MRI machine is a Siemens 1.5T Magnetom Symphony.  It is one of the best scanners available—combining high field strength with a very open & comfortable feeling.  We will guide you through this exam with the utmost attention to your needs. Our knowledgeable, professional team will put you at ease and answer all of your questions before the exam.  We do everything possible to make your experience with us comfortable & relaxing, and provide music headsets, pillows and blankets.

How to Prepare for Arthrography

No special preparation is necessary before arthrography. Food and fluid intake do not need to be restricted.  Inform your physician if you have any allergies.

What to Expect

Our technologist will take a brief medical history.  You may be asked to remove any clothes with metal buckles, and wear a gown during the exam. You may also be asked to remove jewelry, dentures, eye glasses and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the x-ray images.  You will then be asked to lie on the examination table and we will take x-rays of the joint which we will compare  later with the arthrograms.  Next, the radiologist will cleanse the area with antiseptic and will inject a local anesthetic to numb the area.  The area where the needle is to be inserted will be sterilized and covered with a surgical drape. The radiologist will then insert a needle into the joint space and will inject the contrast material and sometimes air, and then will remove the needle. You will then be asked to move the affected joint to distribute the contrast material throughout the space. You will then move to the MRI room where your MR scan will be completed. An MRI generally takes 30-60 minutes of scan time.

Your Results

Your doctor(s) will receive a full detailed written report from our highly trained radiologists within one day.  We will provide you with a CD copy of your exam, for your personal records or to bring to your referring physician on your follow-up visit.  Our goal is to provide you with the highest level of customer service and image quality in a caring and supportive environment.
        

Questions?

If you have any questions or concerns about your procedure, feel free to call us at 203-453-5123 or ­contact us online.

Testimonial

You’re incredibly responsive to our practice needs and your report turn-around time is excellent. I applaud your physician to physician communicatio...

Julie Flagg, MD