Arthrography is a special technique for taking pictures of what's going on inside your body. If you've injured the hard or soft tissue of a joint, a simple X-ray may not show doctors enough detail to make a diagnosis. That's where an arthrogram comes in.
During an arthrogram appointment, contrast dye is injected into the injured area before imaging is taken. Our facility uses MRIs, X-rays, and CT scans. The detail provided by the imaging technique and the contrast helps radiologists identify problems and come up with treatment plans.
Each of these machines is capable of different types of imaging. An MRI, which stands for "magnetic resonance imaging," uses magnetic fields and radio waves to get a picture of your soft tissue. An X-ray uses radiation to get pictures of your bones. A CT scan, which stands for " computed tomography," is a type of X-ray machine that rotates and is hooked up to a computer to provide detailed cross-sections of your insides.
Arthrograms are most commonly used to investigate joint issues. Doctors usually recommend that patients get these scans when the patient experiences unexplained pain, loss of motion, or changes in the way the joint looks and feels.
When a joint is acting up, a lot of things can be wrong with it. Your joint isn't simply the place where your bones meet. Joints contain cartilage, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bursae. Diagnosing the particular cause of joint pain can be difficult when a doctor is only able to examine the external portion of your joint. Because your treatment plan depends on the injury, doctors need to see what's going on inside.
The most common joints that doctors use arthrography to investigate are the knee, the hip, the shoulder, the ankle, the elbow, and the wrist. Imaging will show if there is any tearing in the soft tissue or any fracturing in the bone. It can also be used to examine a joint that's been replaced.
Patients arrive 15 minutes early to an appointment to fill out any paperwork. Make sure to wear comfortable clothing that gives our technicians access to the joint being examined. If you're receiving an MRI, wear clothing without any metal pieces, like zippers or buttons. We may ask you to put on scrubs or a gown.
Once it's time for your appointment, you will lie down on a comfortable table and we will clean and drape the area that needs to be examined. After the area has been numbed, a contrast dye is injected. You may have to move your joint to help distribute the dye, or one of our staff members may gently massage the area to move the dye around.
When the contrast has been distributed through the joint, we take images of the affected area. A staff member may reposition you during the session so we can view multiple angles. If you're getting an MRI, we provide you with headphones and music so the process is as comfortable as possible. The imaging itself can take anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour.
When your exam is finished, one of our board-certified radiologists interprets your imaging. The images and reports are also sent to your doctor, usually within 24 hours, and you are welcome to request copies for yourself.
Arthrograms are a low-risk procedure that is safe for most patients. You and your doctor should talk if you believe you're at risk of any possible complications. A few patients have an allergic reaction to the contrast dye, and the reaction is typically mild. If you're having a reaction to the dye, you may feel nauseated or even vomit, but symptoms should pass soon.
Another risk associated with an arthrogram is exposure to radiation. The levels of radiation that come from CT scans and X-rays are very low, and your doctor will evaluate whether exposure to these typically safe levels might cause a problem. Some patients may experience bleeding or infection at the site where the contrast was injected. Finally, patients who have claustrophobia may struggle with some of the machines. Our technicians will help you navigate this difficulty, and you can always talk to your doctor about mild sedation.
Arthrography is a non-invasive way to investigate joint discomfort and pain. This technology gives radiologists a good look at what's happening with your joint, allowing for a targeted treatment plan that alleviates your symptoms and returns you to wellness as quickly as possible. Grapevine imaging is proud to offer significant benefits for your next arthrography appointment, including:
A Positive Experience
Our board-certified imaging experts offer speed and competency, so you have a quick, efficient appointment. At the same time, we know these scans can cause anxiety and discomfort, which is why it's our mission to ensure you're as comfortable as possible during your entire appointment. Let us take the stress out of this step in your diagnosis.
We serve the North Texas area with convenient hours and quick inquiry responses. When your doctor sends the order for arthrographic imaging, we contact you within two to three hours of receiving that order to schedule your service.
We offer three types of imaging, all suitable for investigating many joint ailments. Our highly-trained staff has the expertise to get the clearest images possible, and we get our comprehensive reports to your doctor quickly, so your doctor can diagnose and start treating your joint issue.Grapevine Imaging is an affiliate of Texas Surgical Hospital. Contact us at 817-488-9991 with questions or for more information. You're also welcome to stop by our office, which is located at 2401 Ira East Woods Ave., suite 600. Our goal is to provide you with the imaging you and your doctor require as seamlessly and quickly as possible.
Grapevine Imaging serves the Grapevine, Dallas/Fort Worth, and North Texas area for arthrogram imaging needs. We offer reliable service and a knowledgeable staff dedicated to your comfort. Because our staff works directly with doctors, we offer prompt scheduling for your imaging services. We are proud to be on your care team.