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MRI Arthrogram

A test to obtain a series of pictures of a joint after contrast has been injected.

An arthrogram is a diagnostic test which examines the inside of a joint (e.g. shoulder, knee, wrist, ankle) to assess an injury or a symptom you may be experiencing. The examination is done by first injecting contrast medium which outlines the soft tissue structures in the joint and makes them clearer to see on the images or pictures that will be taken of the joint.

Who will do it

Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.

All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.

Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-speciality surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.

Before your treatment

An MRI Arthrogram scan is routinely done as an outpatient procedure. Most MRI Arthrogram scans need no special preparation. However, if you are having an abdominal or pelvic scan you may be asked to follow special instructions about eating and drinking. Please see your appointment letter for details.

Preparing for your treatment

We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.

For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.

We will give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your procedure, which will be dependent on the type of MRI Arthrogram scan you're having.

When you arrive at the hospital, we may also ask you some questions about your health, previous operations, allergies and any medicines you are taking. This helps to ensure that it is safe for you to have an MRI Arthrogram scan.

The procedure

We understand that having a scan can potentially be a time of anxiety and worry. Our experienced and caring medical staff will be there for you, holding your hand, every step of the way.

When having an MRI Arthrogram scan, you’ll need to wear loose clothing without zips or metallic parts, and to remove any jewellery, hearing aids, watches or glasses. We will also ask you to leave behind coins, keys and credit cards.

An MRI scan is painless. Depending on the type of scan you have, you may need to have an injection of a special dye (contrast medium), which makes certain parts of your body show up more clearly on the scan.

During the procedure, your radiographer will help position you on a special table that slides into the MRI scanner. This will usually be repeated several times and the entire examination generally takes around 30 minutes (but can last up to an hour depending on the examination). You will be able to talk to your radiographer throughout the scan.

You will hear some noise during the procedure - this is completely normal and is the sound of the MRI scan machine taking the images. We will provide you with earplugs or headphones and often you can choose to listen to music if you wish.

During the scan, you should breathe quietly and normally and keep very still as any movement will blur the images. 

After the procedure

An MRI Arthrogram is an outpatient procedure so you will be able to leave hospital after your test.

MRI Arthrogram scans are considered very safe with no known side effects from exposure to magnetic or radio waves. Adverse reactions to the special contrast dye sometimes used are very rare and can usually be treated immediately.

We will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.

If you have any questions or concerns, we’re ready to help.

A radiologist, a doctor trained in reading MRI scans, will examine the images. A report will be sent to the doctor who requested your test. This can take several days to reach your doctor. Before you go home, please ask you radiographer when you can expect to get your results. If you haven’t been told the results within two weeks, call your doctor.

Why choose Spire?

We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.

How much does it cost?

A fixed price for this treatment may be available on enquiry and following an initial consultation.

If available, you can trust Spire Washington Hospital to provide you with a single, fixed price so there are no surprises1. Interest free finance may be available through our carefully chosen partner, Zebra Health Finance Ltd2.

We're here to help you with making these important choices, so you're then free to concentrate on your treatment and on getting back to being you.

1 Please read our patient terms and conditions for full details of what's included and excluded in your fixed price.

2 Interest free finance (0% represented APR available) through Zebra Health Finance Ltd