What is an Arthrogram?

An arthrogram is a procedure in which a Radiologist, using X-ray guidance (fluoroscopy), injects a contrast solution directly into a joint. The contrast, which is an iodine and a gadolinium (used in some MRIs) solution, enhances the visualization of joint structures and improves the evaluation of joint abnormalities.

An arthrogram may be performed on most joints, including shoulders, knees, hips, elbows, wrists, and ankles. Arthrograms can be done as a stand-alone test, but most are done in conjunction with a MRI or CT exam.

The equipment used to perform this scan includes a fluoroscope (c-arm), a radiographic table and two television-like monitors. The fluoroscope is a fluorescent X-ray device, which transmits moving images of a joint in real-time. The images from the fluoroscope provide the Radiologist with a clear view of the joint, ensuring that the Radiologist reaches the joint space and that the contrast material is injected into the right area.

Arthrograms are ordered to determine:

  • The cause of unexplained joint pain (in most cases, after surgery)
  • Whether scar tissue has developed after surgery
  • If there is an injury to structures inside the joint
  • If lesions are hidden within the joint
  • If there is a need for a joint replacement or if there are problems with an existing joint replacement (prosthesis)

Before You Arrive

Save Time! To expedite your check in process, completed your Registration online through our Patient Portal.

After the Exam

Once your scan is complete, a Radiologist will examine the images. Your physician will receive the images and reports via PACS and fax. Contact your physician directly to discuss your results. Results are also available through the Patient Portal. Allow 3 to 5 business days.


Schedule an Appointment

We invite you to experience the UCI difference. With two locations to serve you, University Center Imaging has the specialized staff necessary to assist with all your imaging needs. Schedule your appointment today with a member of the UCI Scheduling Team.