CT Scan Arthogram

A CT Arthrogram, also known as a CT with contrast, is a CT combined with an injection of contrast material into the body part being scanned. The contrast material is called Gadolinium. The material appears bright white on CT Arthrogram images. This contrast material helps outline the structures within your joint more clearly enabling our radiologists to more precisely assess the anatomy and function of your joint. This study may be ordered instead of an MRI for patients with implanted devices that are not MRI safe.

CT Arthrograms help physicians evaluate changes in structure and function of a joint. As a result, this helps your doctor determine the best course of treatment for you. Arthrograms are commonly used to identify abnormalities with your:
  • Shoulder
  • Wrist
  • Hip
  • Knee
  • Ankle
Be sure to inform your technologist of any allergies, serious health problems, or recent surgeries you have had as that may prevent you from being given the contrast material needed for your exam.

Women should always inform the CT technologist if there is any possibility of pregnancy. Because the risks to the baby are unknown, we do not allow pregnant women to obtain an CT. If you are claustrophobic or have anxiety, your physician can also give you a prescription for a mild sedative to aid in your relaxation during the procedure.

A CT Arthrogram is done on an outpatient basis. You are positioned on an exam table and a physician will locate your injection site. Next, the skin around your joint is cleansed with antiseptic. Your physician will numb the area with a local anesthetic to minimize pain. A needle is then inserted into your joint space. The contrast material is injected and the needle is removed. The physician may ask you to move your joint to distribute the contrast material throughout the space.

Exams involving a CT with contrast may take an hour or two to complete. Please allow for enough time to complete your study. Plan to have a friend or relative drive you home after your CT Arthrogram.

CLICK HERE to get an appointment checklist for a CT Scan
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