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CT Arthrogram - About the Exam

Mountain Medical offers musculoskeletal CT arthrography to evaluate and diagnose pain and abnormalities in the joints. Arthrography is computed tomography (CT) examination that uses an injection of special contrast material directly into the joint.

The special contrast material outlines the structures within the joints and allows radiologists to view accurate images of the joint being examined.

The procedure is most often used to identify abnormalities within the:

  • Shoulder
  • Wrist
  • Hip
  • Knee
  • Ankle
  • Elbow

What you can expect during a musculoskeletal CT arthogram:

  • This examination is usually done on an outpatient basis.
  • You will be positioned on the examination table.
  • Next, the skin around the joint is cleansed with antiseptic and is often covered with a sterile surgical drape. Using a small needle, the physician injects local anesthetic into the area.
  • After the local anesthetic has taken effect, a longer needle is then inserted into the joint. The radiologist will use x-ray (Fluoroscopy) to guide the needle into the correct position. Once the needle is in the joint the radiologist will inject contrast to better visualize your joint for the CT scan. Then you will be placed on the CT scanner to have your joint images performed.
  • Occasionally your physician may suspect infection within your joint. If this is the case, the radiologist may use a syringe to drain (or aspirate) the joint fluid, which may be sent to a laboratory for analysis.
  • A CT arthrography exam is usually completed within 30 minutes.

Learn how to prepare for a musculoskeletal CT arthogram.

Learn the benefits and risks of musculoskeletal CT arthogram.

Watch the CT - What to Expect Video.