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An arthrogram is a diagnostic x-ray of joints to assess the cause of any problems. Arthograms are often taken on hip, knee, ankle, wrist and shoulders. An arthogram provides images of soft tissues and joint capsules. In cases of explained joint pain or inflammation, arthogram is done to identify any problems with ligaments or cartilage or abnormal placement of bones. Abnormal cysts or growths can be identified with the help of arthogram. If the patient is pregnant or allergic to iodine, the radiologist must be informed.

A patient undergoing an arthogram is asked to place the affected joint under a fluoroscope. The contrast material is injected into the joint to enable it to be viewed. An MRI arthogram involves x-rays and MRI. MRI and CT scan are used when an arthogram does not provide any clear diagnosis. There might be mild swelling and tenderness in the joint that has been subjected to arthogram. Rare complications of arthograms are infection in the joint and damage to the internal structure of the joint.


Fluoroscopy is used to study moving body structures. An x ray beam is continuously passed into the body part to be examined it is transmitted to a TV-like monitor so that the body part in motion is studied in detail. As an imaging technique, fluoroscopy is commonly employed by physicians to obtain real-time images of the internal structures of a patient during minimally invasive and microscopic surgical procedures, as well as many types of diagnostic tests like discography.

Fluoroscope: In its simplest form, fluoroscopy consists of an x ray source and a fluorescent screen between which a patient is placed. Modern fluoroscopes couple the screen to an X ray image intensifier and a video camera allowing the images to be played and recorded on a monitor. Traditional fluoroscopes consisted of an x ray source and fluorescent screen between which the patient was placed. Modern fluoroscopes have shown several improvements in screen phosphors, image intensifiers and even flat panel detectors. These allow for increase quality while minimizing the radiation dosage to the patient. Modern fluoroscopes also use the CSI screens and produce noise-limited images. This ensures minimal radiation dosage results while still obtaining images of acceptable quality.

Fluoroscopy can be adopted on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Depending upon the specific type of procedure or examination, it is determined whether any preparation prior to the procedure is required. All fluoroscopic procedures pose potential health risk to the patient. Fluoroscopy uses more radiation than standard x rays. Radiation doses depend upon the size of the patient as well as the length of the procedure. Fluoroscopy is widely used in orthopedic surgery to guide fracture reduction and the placement of metal work. Fluoroscopy is used in many diagnostic and therapeutic radiological procedures to observe the action of instruments being used either to diagnose or to treat the patient. Fluoroscopy is also used to help find a foreign object in the body, position a needle for a medical procedure or re align a broken bone. Different types of fluoroscopy procedures:

  • Esophogram: x ray study of the throat.
  • Upper GI series: is a study of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum.
  • Small bowel series: is a study of the stomach and entire small intestine.
  • Barium enema: is a study of colon.
  • Hysterosalpingogram: is a study of the uterus and fallopian tubes.
  • Intravenous Pyelography: is a study of the kidneys, ureters, and the urinary bladder.
  • Voiding cystourethrogram: is the study of the bladder and urethra.
  • Arthrogram: is a study of the shoulder and knee joint showing ligament and tears.

Rotator cuff injury

The rotator-cuff group consists of four muscles - subscapularis, teres minor, infraspinatus and supraspinatus, which are positioned around the shoulder joint. These muscles are small but serve an important function. The rotator cuff helps lift the arm overhead. It rotates the arm outward or pulls the hand up behind the head. It also stabilizes the humeral head in the shoulder socket and keeps it in the proper position for good use of the arm. Unfortunately, because of its exposed position, it can easily be injured.

Rotator cuff injuries are very painful. As the rotator cuff fatigues from excessive use, weakness or lack of endurance, the ball of the shoulder joint becomes more mobile and moves upward. This causes the rotator cuff tendons to come in contact with the bone, which can lead to irritation of the tendon and subsequent inflammation and pain. Common causes of injury to these muscles are sudden impact, training with very heavy weights, repetitive overhead arm movements and improper posture.

Self care and exercise therapy aid in relieving this condition. An arthrogram shows a contrast dye that is injected into the shoulder joint. It helps in detecting leakage from an injured rotator cuff. Rest and anti-inflammatory medications can help in reducing the severity of the rotator cuff injuries. Sometimes steroid injections and surgery are resorted to.

Tags: #Arthrogram #Fluoroscopy #Rotator cuff injury
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: April 17, 2024