MR Arthrogram: What is it and What can I Expect?
- Posted on: Dec 30 2017
Imaging services that are well-known, such as x-rays and ultrasounds, are more easily accepted if and when we need them. To hear that an MR arthrogram is needed ma not go over as well. One of our priorities at GO Imaging is to ensure patient comfort. That means peace of mind. Here, we want to put your mind at ease with a bit of information about this diagnostic test and what you may expect during your MR arthrogram in our Humble or Houston facility.
What is the MR arthrogram test?
This diagnostic test is a type of MRI. It is performed so that your doctor may have a closer look at a joint that may have been injured or is causing unexplained symptomology. The observation of the affected joint is expected to confirm or rule out the presence of an abnormal growth or cyst, a tear within a joint such as the rotator cuff, or other disorder.
There are two parts to the complete exam, which can take one to two hours depending on various factors. Before scanning, the local anesthetic is administered to the joint. The contrast agent is also introduced into the joint, guided by x-ray. After this initial phase, the remainder of the exam involves MRI imaging of the joint. MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves to gain data regarding joint structure. Depending on the joint in question, the option of using our open MRI scanner may be available.
There are no special instructions to prepare for the MR arthrogram. Patients are advised to wear comfortable clothing that will enable them to comfortably get onto the exam table and lie in place for the duration of the screening. No wire accessories, even an underwire bra or jewelry, should be worn to the exam. Because it is necessary to remain still on the exam table, patients should also avoid drinking any beverage for the two hours before their appointment.
After this imaging test, slight swelling may be noticed in the joint. This is due to the injection of contrast media and does not indicate injury or complication. If swelling and discomfort do occur, these symptoms should subside over a day or two.
If you have questions about a test your physician has recommended, or you are a physician needing to refer a patient for imaging, we would be happy to speak with you about our services and equipment. Call our Houston office at 713.874.0111 or our Humble office at 281.358.3800.
Posted in: Arthrogram