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Radiology (Xray)

Arthrogram & Joint Injection

Contact: Freeman Hospital: (0191) 223 1012; RVI: (0191) 282 4330

IntroductionShow [+]Hide [-]


We have received a request from your referring doctor for you to have an Arthrogram.  This webpage is designed to give you some information to help you prepare for your scan and to give you some idea of what to expect when you attend.

What is an Arthrogram?Show [+]Hide [-]


‘Arthrogram’ means picture of a joint following an injection of a contrast medium.  An Arthrogram may be performed to obtain information about the joint or when an injection of medication is required into a joint.

What preparation will I need? Show [+]Hide [-]



What if I cannot attend for my appointment? Show [+]Hide [-]


If your appointment time is not convenient please contact the hospital department so that a more appropriate time can be arranged.  This will enable us to reallocate valuable scanning time to someone else.



Freeman X-ray Appointments     0191 223 1012 (8.30am-5.00pm)

RVI X-ray Appointments             0191 282 4330 (8.30am-5.00pm)

I am a Diabetic. Does this change anything?Show [+]Hide [-]



What does the examination involve?Show [+]Hide [-]


Depending on which part of the body is being examined, you may be asked to undress and put on a gown.  You will be asked to lie on a couch in a special x-ray room.  The doctor (Radiologist) performing your examination will explain the procedure.  After cleaning the skin with a sterilizing solution and injecting local anaesthetic, (see below) a needle will be inserted into the joint and any injection made.  At the end of the test the needle will be removed.  If local anaesthetic or steroid medication has been injected you will be given a form to take away and return to monitor any change in your symptoms.  The Radiologist will explain how you should complete this form.

Local Anaesthetic:

Your radiologist will ask you to keep quite still while the injections are given.

You may notice a warm tingling feeling as the anaesthetic begins to take effect.

Your procedure will only go ahead when you and your radiologist are sure that the area is numb.

If you are not having sedation, you will remain alert and aware of your surroundings.  A screen shields the operating site, so you will not see the procedure unless you want to.

Your radiologist is always near to you and you can speak to him/her whenever you want to.

Consent Form:

Some of your questions should have been answered above, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion about your treatment with the doctors looking after you. Please make sure you are satisfied that you have received enough information about the procedure, before you sign the consent form.

How long will it take?Show [+]Hide [-]


The examination usually takes about 30 minutes.

What are the benefits of having an Arthrogram/Joint Injection?Show [+]Hide [-]


It may establish diagnosis if we are uncertain whether the joint is the source of pain, or therapeutic if we are certain.

Are there any risks?Show [+]Hide [-]


There is an extremely low risk of infection or allergy.

Are there any side effects?Show [+]Hide [-]


Usually none, but this depends on the site of injection.  Any possible side effects will be fully explained to you.

What happens about the results?Show [+]Hide [-]


A report will be sent to the consultant who asked for this test to be performed. Please note, that a complete report cannot be sent out until your form (for monitoring changes in symptoms), has been completed and returned.  You should make an appointment to discuss the results in outpatients.

Can I drive home?Show [+]Hide [-]


We advise you do not drive immediately after a joint injection and you should make alternative travel arrangements.

I need an ambulance. Do you arrange one?Show [+]Hide [-]


If you need an ambulance, you should ask your General Practitioner’s surgery to arrange one. You will need to give them three working days notice.  Please inform the department if you are arriving by ambulance as we will arrange your appointment time to fit with ambulance arrivals.

Information from your diagnostic test will contribute to the Diagnostic Imaging Dataset. Show [+]Hide [-]


The Diagnostic Imaging Dataset (DID) is a database that holds information on the imaging tests and scans carried out on NHS patients. This will allow the Health and Social Care Information Centre to see how different tests are used across the country.

Nothing will ever be reported that identifies you.  All information is stored securely. It is only made available to appropriate staff, and is kept strictly confidential. However, if you do not want your information to be stored in the DID, please tell the people who are treating you. They will make sure your information is not copied into the DID.

You may, at a later date, still decide to opt out.  Please contact the Health and Social Care Information Centre directly, their contact details are:

Telephone: 0845 300 6016 



What if I have any questions, suggestions or complaints?Show [+]Hide [-]


Should you have any suggestions or concerns, please make these known to the person conducting your examination or by letter addressed to the hospital that you are attending your examination:

  • The Departmental Manager, X-ray Department, Level 3, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Queen Victoria Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4LP
  • The Departmental Manager, Main X-ray Department, Freeman Hospital, High Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE7 7DN

Tel: 0191 282 1099

Monday to Friday: 8.30am to 5.00pm

All Newcastle Hospitals: Switchboard tel: 0191 233 6161 (24 hours)

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can offer on-the-spot advice and information about the NHS.  You can contact them on freephone 0800 032 02 02 or email

Information produced by: Dr G Hide, Consultant Radiologist.

ArthrogramShow [+]Hide [-]


We hope that you have found this webpage useful.  Please find other patient information guides on the left side of this webpage.

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