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Alternative NamesX-ray - joint; Arthrography; Arthrogram
Definition Return to top
This test is an x-ray of a knee, shoulder, hip, wrist, ankle, or other joint.
How the Test is Performed Return to top
The test is done in a hospital radiology department or in the health care provider's office. The x-ray technologist will help you position the joint to be x-rayed on the table. Once in place, pictures are taken. The joint may be repositioned for different views.
How to Prepare for the Test Return to top
Inform the health care provider if you are pregnant. Remove all jewelry.
How the Test Will Feel Return to top
The x-ray is not uncomfortable, except possibly from positioning the area being x-rayed.
Why the Test is Performed Return to top
The x-ray is used to detect fractures, tumors, or degenerative conditions of the joint.
What Abnormal Results Mean Return to top
The x-ray may reveal arthritis, fractures, bone tumors, degenerative bone conditions, and osteomyelitis (inflammation of the bone caused by an infection).
The test may also be performed to investigate the following conditions:
Risks Return to top
There is low radiation exposure. X-rays are monitored and regulated to provide the smallest amount of radiation exposure needed to produce the image. Most experts feel that the risk is low compared with the benefits. Pregnant women and children are more sensitive to the risks of the x-ray.
References Return to top
Tamisiea DF. Radiologic aspects of orthopedic diseases. In: Mercier LR, ed. Practical Orthopedics. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2008:chap 16.
Bearcroft PPW. Joint disease. In: Grainger RC, Allison D, Adam, Dixon AK, eds.Diagnostic Radiology: A Textbook of Medical Imaging. 5th ed. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone; 2008:chap 50.Update Date: 5/2/2009 Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.