The arthrogram is a special type of x-ray used to visualize the anatomy of a joint. Most commonly the joints that are evaluated by arthrogram are those of the knee, hip, and shoulder. A radiopaque contrast fluid is injected into the joint and images are taken using fluoroscopy and diagnostic x-rays. The body part is moved into various positions so that in order to demonstrate the contour and articular surface of the joint or cartilage.
An arthrogram can be used to evaluate the joint with unexplained pain, or decreased range of motion. The most common arthrogram procedure done at Wake Forest Baptist Health – Wilkes Medical Center would be the shoulder. The shoulder arthrogram can evaluate rotator cuff tears. No matter what area the arthrogram is performed, this test can help identify problems that are surgically correctable.
The arthrogram is also helpful in treating the claustrophobic patient who will not tolerate the close confines of the MRI scanner.
* This test is performed under local anesthetic.