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Arthrography and Joint Injections

What is arthrography?

Arthrography is the injection of a contrast dye into a joint, such as the wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee, ankle or sacroiliac joint. This can be done as a diagnostic test itself, or your doctor may request that it is followed by a CT (CT arthrogram) or MR (MR arthrogram) for additional evaluation. In some instances, an anesthetic or steroid may be injected into the joint for therapeutic purposes.

How should I prepare?

Let us know if you have any known allergies to x-ray dye or medicines. Please bring any previous imaging studies (x-ray, CT or MRI) and reports you may have had related to the joint we will be injecting. If you are having an injection or arthrogram of the ankle, foot or sacroiliac joint, you will need to arrange for someone to drive you home.

What should I expect?

The skin around your joint will be cleaned, and a local anesthetic will be injected into the area for numbing. X-ray guidance will then be used to place a thin needle into the joint space. X-ray dye (contrast) will be injected through needle and the joint will be evaluated.

Anesthetic and/or steroid may be injected for pain relief, if requested by your doctor.

If your doctor has requested an MR arthrogram, a special MR contrast (gadolinium) will be injected into the joint. After the needle is removed, you will then be taken to the MR scanner, and the MR examination performed.

Afterwards, your joint may be sore for one or two days, but should gradually improve after the first several hours. Avoid any vigorous activity for the rest of the day.


Appointments for the Providence Imaging Center and the Providence Medical Center Radiology department can be made at 913-667-5600

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