Sometimes, a joint condition is best evaluated after the injection of a contrast agent called gadolinium into the affected joint prior to your MRI examination. This procedure is minimally invasive, usually takes less than 15 minutes and is performed by one of our skilled board-certified radiologists immediately prior to your MRI. During an arthrogram, you are positioned on the examination table and made as comfortable as possible. Your skin is cleansed with antiseptic and covered with a sterile drape. Using a small needle, the radiologist injects a local anesthetic into the area before a thin needle is inserted into the joint.
You will experience a slight pinprick and may feel a momentary burning as a local anesthesia is used to numb the joint area. This usually lasts less than 15 seconds. You may feel pressure when the needle is advanced into the joint. Following the injection, you may feel fullness in the joint which will dissipate within a few hours. Immediately following your successful arthrogram, you will be moved to the MRI scanner where high-resolution images will be taken of your affected joint and prompt interpreted by one of our fellowship-trained Musculoskeletal radiologists.