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Tell your health care provider if:

  • You are or may be pregnant

  • You have any allergies

  • You have any bleeding problems or take blood thinners or other medications, including aspirin

An arthrogram is an imaging study used to assess your joint problem. Contrast fluid is injected into the joint being studied. Then, x-ray or computed tomography (CT) is used to create images.

Man lying on table under x-ray machine. Healthcare provider wearing led vest is looking at monitor and injecting fluid into man's shoulder.
X-rays are used during an arthrogram to create images of your joint.

Before Your Test

  • Arrange for someone to drive you home.

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing.

During Your Test

  • X-rays of your joint are taken first.

  • The skin around the joint is cleaned and then covered with drapes.

  • The area around your joint is numbed.

  • Contrast fluid is injected into your joint to improve the images.

  • X-rays are again taken.

  • The doctor will move your joint. You will also be asked to exercise your joint.

  • Additional x-rays are taken after you exercise.

  • If you need a CT test, it will follow the x-rays.

After Your Test

  • Drink extra water or other clear fluids for 24 hours.

  • Make a follow-up appointment to get your results.

Call Your Doctor If:

  • You have pain or swelling that doesn’t improve by 2 days after your test

  • You have a fever


Online Medical Reviewer: Desser, Terry, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Williams, Scott Thomas, MD
Last Review Date: 10/26/2011
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.