Arthrography & Infiltration

Arthrography

Arthrography is the examination of a joint with x-rays. A dye (contrast medium) may be injected into the joint.

During the procedure, the patient lies down and receives local anesthesia. The radiologist then uses x-rays to guide the needle with which the contrast medium is injected into the joint. Typically, the procedure lasts 15 minutes or less.

Purpose of the procedure:

  • Arthrography is useful for detecting lesions in tendons, ligaments or menisci which are not visible without the use of contrast media.
  • Arthrography can also be used to accurately deliver medication (cortisone or other) in the joint as requested by the physician.

Preparation for your exam

  • On the day of the exam, it is important to bring with you images and medical reports of relevant exams (such as X-ray, MRI, CT scan, ultrasound) done elsewhere as they are required for comparison purposes.

Infiltration

Infiltration is a procedure used to inject a drug into a specific part of the body. Cortisone is typically the drug used for infiltration.

Infiltrations can be performed in the physician’s office. However when the drug must be infiltrated into a site that is too deep or difficult to access, the procedure must be carried out by a radiologist using a guiding technique.

The radiologist can perform the infiltration using an ultrasound-guided or fluoroscopy-guided technique (arthrography). The method that will be chosen will depend on the specific problem to be addressed.

During the procedure, the patient is typically lying down or seated. The radiologist performs local anesthesia and guides the needle into the desired position. When the needle is in the right position, the medication is injected. Typically the duration of the procedure does not exceed 15 minutes.

Preparation for your exam

  • On the day of the exam, it is important to bring with you images and medical reports of relevant exams (such as X-ray, MRI, CT scan, ultrasound) done elsewhere as they are required for comparison purposes.

After an infiltration or arthrography procedure:

  • In the hours following the exam, you may feel some discomfort at the injection site.
  • In some instances patients may experience some pain for a day or two after the exam, but this is easily relieved with Tylenol.