air, water and dye individually or in combination. Arthrography may be of direct type, wherein injection of contrast material is carried out directly into the joint or of indirect type, where injection of contrast material is done into the bloodstream.
During this test, X-rays are mainly used for getting improved images of joints. CT (computerized tomography), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or fluoroscopy can also be used for the same purpose in some cases.
When it is performed?/ Need of an arthrogram
An arthrogram is normally carried out in cases where an unexplained pain, loss of movement or discomfort is observed in the joints. In simple words, an arthrogram is useful in finding out underlying cause of joint problems. Even though arthrography is used for detection of problems in various types of body joints, it is carried our more commonly for problems linked with hip, shoulder, wrist, elbow and ankle joints. For problems associated with ligaments, cartilage, joint capsules and tendons, an arthrogram can be obtained. It also helps in examining loose bodies, prosthetic joints, joint dislocations, etc.
Prior to Arthrography (Pre-procedure)
During arthrography (Procedure of Arthrography)/Collection of arthrogram
Cost of an arthrogram
Based on the type of healthcare and health insurance, cost of an arthrogram may vary.
(e.g. MRI Arthrogram with contrast
Risks associated with an arthrogram
Even though an arthrogram can be useful for diagnosing an underlying cause behind joint troubles, there can be some risks associated with it. These risks are listed below.
For patients with joint infections or an active arthritis, an arthrography is not advised. For women who are pregnant or planning for a baby need to give an idea about it to the healthcare provider prior to the arthrography procedure. This is very essential, as radiation exposure during the pregnancy may cause birth defects of various kinds. In cases where it is mandatory to go for an arthrography, special precautions need to be taken for prevention of fetus by lowering the exposure of radiations.
Mild swelling can be observed in or around the joints after an arthrography procedure. Patients need to inform the healthcare provider if excess pain, discomfort or any unusual symptoms are experienced. In general, pain relief medicines along with joint exercise are recommended by the healthcare providers. Some discomfort such as cracking noises or pain can be observed in patients after undergoing an arthrography procedure which may get reduced after some days.
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Article Added on Monday, June 19, 2017
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