Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

MRI Arthrogram

MRI Arthrogram

Patient Information

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Imaging & Diagnostic Services
Monday - Friday,
7:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
7:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Breast Center
Monday - Friday,
7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

What is an MRI Arthrogram?

An arthrogram is an exam used to obtain images of a joint in order to diagnose small defects in the soft tissue of the joints. Arthrograms may be performed on the hip, shoulder, knee, elbow, wrist or ankle. MRI arthrograms combine fluoroscopy and images from MRI to find the cause of joint pain. For more information on MRI arthrograms, click here.

On the Day of Your MRI

Where do I go? Campus Map

At the time your appointment is scheduled, you will be instructed to go to the Main Pavilion or the Sweetwater Pavilion. When you enter, go to the Information Desk and our staff will gladly direct you from there.

When Should I Arrive?

Arrival times vary based on the type of MRI that will be performed. If you are not sure of your time of arrival, please call 281-274-7170 to clarify for your specific test.

How is an MRI Arthrogram performed?

  1. To begin, x-rays will be taken of the joint to be studied. These images will be compared to the MRI images to create a more accurate picture of the joint.
  2. The radiologist will sterilize the area around the joint, and then inject a local anesthetic to numb the area.
  3. The radiologist will inject a contrast dye into the joint. The dye will appear brightly on the x-ray and MRI to make the images more clear and help the radiologist evaluate the images.
  4. Following the injection, an MRI scan of the joint will provide more images. For information on how an MRI scan is performed, click here. (Link to section – How is an MRI scan performed?)

Will it hurt?

The injection of the contrast dye may cause discomfort, but this is minimized by the use of a local anesthetic.

Are there risks?

Risks associated with MRI are involved for pregnant patients or patients with certain implants. A technologist will ask about any implants the patient may have.

After your test:

A board certified radiologist will interpret your exam. Legally, the technologist cannot interpret or discuss what they are viewing while performing the exam. A report with the results will be sent to your physician within two to three business days. Please check with your physician’s office to discuss the results.