Arthrograpy is a procedure involving multiple x rays of a joint using a fluoroscope, a special piece of x-ray equipment that shows an immediate x-ray image. A contrast medium (in this case, a contrast iodine solution) injected into the joint area helps highlight structures of the joint.


Frequently, arthrography is ordered to determine the cause of unexplained joint pain. This fluoroscopic procedure can show the internal workings of specific joints and outline soft tissue structures. The procedure may also be conducted to identify problems with the ligaments, cartilage, tendons, or the joint capsule of the hip, shoulder, knee, ankle, wrist, or other joints. An arthrography procedure may locate cysts in the joint area, evaluate problems with the joint's arrangement and function, indicate the need for joint replacement, or show problems with existing joint replacement (prostheses). The most commonly studied joints are the knee and shoulder.


Arthrograpy may be referred to as "joint radiography" or "x rays of the joint." The term arthrogram may be used interchangeably with arthrography. The joint area will be cleaned and a local anesthetic will be injected into the tissues around the joint to reduce pain. Next, if fluids are present in the joint, the physician may suction them out (aspirate) with a needle. These fluids may be sent to a laboratory for further study. Contrast agents are then injected into the joint through the same location by attaching the aspirating needle to a syringe containing the contrast medium. The purpose of contrast agents in x-ray procedures is to help highlight details of areas under study by making them opaque. Agents for arthrography are generally air- and water-soluble dyes, the most common containing iodine. Air and iodine may be used together or independently. After the contrast agent is administered, the site of injection will be sealed, and the patient may be asked to bend and flex the joint to distribute the contrast.

Before the contrast medium can be absorbed by the joint itself, several films will be quickly taken under the guidance of the fluoroscope. The patient will be asked to move the joint into a series of positions, keeping still between positioning. Sometimes, the patient will experience some tingling or discomfort during the procedure, which is normal and due to the contrast. Following fluoroscopic tracking of the contrast, standard x rays of the area may also be taken. The entire procedure will last about one hour.

Generally, a joint is evaluated first by MRI ( magnetic resonance imaging ) instead of an arthrogram, or by MRI combined with the arthrogram. Gadolinium, an MRI contrast agent, is injected if the arthrogram is performed as part of an MRI procedure. If the arthrogram is performed as part of a MRI arthrogram, the MRI scan will then be obtained immediately afterward.


It is important to discuss any known sensitivity to local anesthetics or iodine prior to this procedure. A physician should explain the procedure and the risks associated with contrast agents and ask the patient to sign an informed consent . If iodine contrast will be administered, the patient may be instructed not to eat before the exam. The timeframe of fasting may range from only 90 minutes prior to the exam up to the night before. There is no other preparation necessary.


The affected joint should be rested for approximately 12 hours following the procedure. The joint may be wrapped in an elastic bandage, and the patient should receive instructions on the care and changing of the bandage. Noises in the joint such as cracking or clicking are normal for a few days following arthrography. These noises are the result of liquid in the joints. Swelling may also occur and can be treated with application of ice or cold packs. A mild pain reliever can be used to lessen pain in the first few days. However, if any of these symptoms persist for more than a few days, patients are advised to contact their physician.


In some patients iodine can cause allergic reactions, ranging from mild nausea to severe cardiovascular or nervous system complications. Since the contrast dye is put into a joint, rather than into a vein, allergic reactions are rare. Facilities licensed to perform contrast exams should meet requirements for equipment, supplies, and staff training to handle a possible severe reaction. Infection or joint damage are possible, although not frequent, complications of arthrography.

Normal results

A normal arthrography exam will show proper placement of the dye or contrast medium throughout the joint structures, joint space, cartilage, and ligaments.

Abnormal results

The abnormal placement of dye may indicate rheumatoid arthritis, cysts, joint dislocation, tear of the rotator cuff, tears in the ligament, and other conditions. The entire lining of the joint becomes opaque from the technique, which allows the radiologist to see abnormalities in the intricate workings of the joint. In the case of recurrent shoulder dislocations, arthrography results can be used to evaluate damage. Patients with hip prostheses may receive arthrography to evaluate proper placement or function of their prostheses.



Juhl, John H., and Andrew B. Crummy. Paul and Juhl's Essentials of Radiologic Imaging. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1993.


American College of Radiology. 1891 Preston White Drive, Reston, VA 22091. (800) 227-5463. .

Arthritis Foundation. 1300 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30309. (800) 283-7800. .

Teresa Norris, RN

Lee A. Shratter, MD

User Contributions:

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Jan 17, 2010 @ 11:11 am
Frequently, arthrography is ordered to determine the cause of unexplained joint pain.
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May 17, 2010 @ 12:00 am
this was very helpfull for me, I have been in a lot of pain for the passed 1 year and doctors cannot tell me was is wrong with my showder, hopefully with this they will be able to tell was wrong. I had three regular MRI done and they dont show anything so workers compensation tell me that there is nothing wrong with my showder but I have a lot of pain and Im not able to moved it forward or to the side. Thank You Helen
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Mar 9, 2011 @ 10:22 pm
I am finally getting mine done tomorrow and hopefully I can have my shoulder fixed. I have been through pain since last August and stupid workmans comp just doestn help me at all!!! hopefully this will tell them where the damage is done,
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Jun 10, 2011 @ 10:10 am
I've had this done, they actually pierce your rotator cuff to get the needle into the "joint space", where they inject the dye. This procedure is very uncomfortable and takes about 1/2 hour to complete. An anti-anxiety medicine is suggested. Not shockingly, most website don't talk about how truly uncomfortable this process is.
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Jul 13, 2011 @ 12:12 pm
I had the procedure started today for an mra for my shoulder but the dr could not get into the joint. She got to the bursa but could not get further. Could this mean an abnormality in the joint..tendons ..or anything else?
Kaye Cooper
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Oct 6, 2011 @ 4:16 pm
I have recently had an MRArthrogram on my hip. Whilst it was mildly uncomfortable, the procedure was clearly described to me before commencement. I am concerned about the nausea, muscle discomfort in the leg and both hips the next day. Is this common? I was not told to rest following the procedure.
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Mar 15, 2012 @ 8:20 pm
most painfull thing I have ever had in my life. I was screaming in agony. Almost pulled it out to stab the doctor in the eye. If I had to do it again i would ask for as much anasthesi as possible and pain meds
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Mar 23, 2012 @ 10:22 pm
I just had this done today, and I agree. Most painful thing ever, and I've had my ACL replaced! The radiologist had to go in three times to get the contrast into the right space. I have two puncture marks on my shoulder which are already starting to bruise and I can't lift my own arm without help from the other hand. I hope they're right and this pain goes away in 24 hours! I wanted to jump off the table and run for it!
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Apr 29, 2012 @ 4:16 pm
Two days ago had the arthrogram on my left knee and it's still sore and painful to the touch. I'm very active, gym rat, hiking, fishing, bicycling, etc... I did take it slow over the past 48 hours, but did not rest fully. Would like to hear from others on when their joint came back. Thanks in advance!
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Jun 22, 2012 @ 11:11 am
Not a painful procedure at all. If you're okay with getting shots, you'll be fine. It can be a lengthy process but overall very easy and not as bad as everyone says it is.
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Jun 28, 2012 @ 11:23 pm
This procedure was painful in the hip ! I have had cortizone shots and they were just as painful but you have to bear them all. My leg was stiff after the procedure but it wore off as the day progressed. I am glad I had a designated driver because it would have been very difficult to drive and apply the brakes with no help from the sore left hip. I certainly hope the diagnoses helps to treat the pain that I thought was a hernia but is not.
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Jul 19, 2012 @ 8:08 am
I had one on Monday in my shoulder. I'm petrified of injections and had worked myself up to the point I was shaking and had a panic attack before. There were 6 people in the room and one held my hand. Anesthetic does sting bu it passes quickly. I didn't feel the needle in my joint and had to look to know it was there. The pressure was quite painful and was highly unpleasant. Couldn't move my arm right for 3 days and needed help dressing but I have a very bad shoulder anyway. You will have 2 puncture marks as you have anesthetic.
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Sep 8, 2012 @ 12:12 pm
I had this procedure done on my hip on the 30th of August. I did not feel the needles due to the anesthetic but there was a lot of pressure and I was extremely anxious and uncomfortable throughout the entire procedure. They told me this procedure was not painful, that I would be able to work that night, and I would have to take an ibprophen at max. The procedure was done over a week ago and I am still in pain and still limping. Before I went in I would limp once in awhile after work or when I was tired and very seldomly had pain. It hurts to drive because it is my right leg, it hurts to sit, lay, walk, stand, everything hurts because it is a constant pain. I am also a bartender, and they knew that when they ordered the mri and told me I would be able to work. I worked friday and had to call in on Saturday because the pain was so bad. I worked Sunday and Monday and left crying at the end of both shifts. I did the same just last night, over a week later, and they prescribed my pain pills on Tuesday. I still have not heard anything of the results for this mri. This procedure is NOT easy and painless.
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Sep 13, 2012 @ 11:11 am
I just returned home from an arthrogram on my hip. I read many reviews about the procedure that had me terrified. However, I have to say my experience was not bad at all. Dr.Dunn at the Centers for Diadgostic Imaging in Greenwood, Indiana was wonderful. There was a little stinging for about three seconds from the Laddicane, but the actual injection of the dye was painless. Afterward, my hip felt somewhat heavy, but absolutely no pain. I was pleasantly surprised!

Good luck to all who read this. I am glad I can review with a smile. Thanks to CDI.
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Oct 6, 2012 @ 8:20 pm
Had this procedure on my shoulder yesterday. I asked for anxiety medication before it was started, but refused. Halfway through the procedure I passed out. It was the worst procedure I have ever experienced. I will never go through this again. I am still in pain now 24 hrs later. My shoulder feels heavy and on fire. I am only praying that the results will help in determining the horrible pain I have had in my shoulder for the last year.
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Oct 7, 2012 @ 10:10 am
I had this back in August on my knee. They were thinking I re-tore my medial meniscus, MCL Strain, or a torn/pulled hamstring. I went in was only suppose to take 30mins or less. It took them 1hr and 30mins at least. They had to inject me 3 different times with the same amount of fluid because they couldn't get the contrast to light up on the xray for my mri. He even called to see if his partner could come in but the other guy was off. Then they never even told the doctor about it so when I asked what could've caused it he's like caused what? And this was at a world renowned hospital. Yes its painful. They anaestetic burns when it first goes in. After that you'll feel the presence of needles but you wont actually feel them. After that I couldn't successfully bend my knee for 4 days. I had to goto school on crutches because I couldnt walk and bend my knee. You pee alot and the pain doesn't subside for like 3 days. Yes this is worth it but at times can be horrible. Too bad they never found anything wrong with my knee, now I'm going to get a second opinion.
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Oct 10, 2012 @ 8:20 pm
I had this done today and i thought it was kind of cool, getting to see on a screen them inject the dye into my hip. However, the procedure was done 8 and 1/2 hours ago and my hip is in a lot of pain. the doctors did not tell me to rest after. hoping this pain will go away soon.
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Oct 16, 2012 @ 4:16 pm
I had this procedure done on my hip yesterday and last night after the lidocaine wore off my hip became very stiff and quite a bit more painful than prior to the procedure. NO ONE told me to expect any problems after procedure or to take it easy. The procedure was somewhat painful but that was mild compared to the discomfort after but Iam used to pain I had an avulsion fracture of that hip a year and a half ago. I was at work slipped in water did the splits and tore the hamstring off the bone as well as fractured the bone when it tore off. Also had Lumbar fusion 4 years ago and still have a lot of back pain from that. I also have a mild form of Leukemia and today the day after the procedure I am running a fever, having abdominal cramps and nausea as well still having quite a bit of pain in the hip. Good luck to anyone having this procedure. I am glad that I had it done because I need to get a proper diagnosis just wish that they had been honest about it.
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Oct 26, 2012 @ 4:04 am
I had mri of the hip done today. I had read horror stories about this the previous night. However, my experience was total opposite. I don't have an issue with needles or anything but I too was scared out of my mind upon arriving. The local they gave of lidocaine didn't hurt and the actual injection into my hip joint I didn't feel a thing!!! Now after the actual mri, I tried getting up and walking and had to limp my way to my car. As seconds went by the worse it got. I went home tearing up my house like a crack head looking for pain pills. Forget the Tylenol, you will need something much stronger for the pain afterwards. I finally found something, laid down and went to sleep. When I woke up, I felt 90% better, but then the nausea started. I was nauseated for about an hour and then finally it all came up. Very uncomfortable, but if you can withstand needles and you have a great radiology doctor as I had, you shouldn't feel a thing during the actual injection. I understand everyone isn't so lucky. I'm glad I was. I almost hope they find something wrong, because it would validate the pain I'm having in my hip to have the procedure done and then it would also not have been done just for the heck of it! lol! Good luck!
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Dec 11, 2012 @ 4:16 pm
I had the procedure done on my shoulder yesterday for a suspected rotator cuff tear. I've had pain for over a year that wakes me up several times each night. I was nervous, but the doctors and staff were great. The only actual pain came when the solution inflated inside my shoulder, but it subsided after 45 seconds or so. Now my shoulder is really tender, more so than before the procedure. I assume it will diminish over the next couple of days. If you want to get down to the source of your pain in order to feel better in the long run, it's worth it.
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Dec 29, 2012 @ 11:11 am
I had an MR-Arthrogram yesterday of my right hip. i am a nurse and i know better than to read up on any procedure or diagnosis online. but of course i did and what a mistake that was! i was COMPLETELY freaked out about this arthrogram! They must have sensed my anxiety because they had a couple people in there with me, one of which was there to talk to me and hold my hand (im not much of a hand holder but i appreciated the offer). The radiologist explained everything to me, told me to expect a small amount of discomfort during the numbing lidocaine injection but that after that it should just be pressure. He said if i felt any pain to let him know becauase he could pinject more lidocaine, if needed. Someone was there talking me through it and I purposely wasnt looking at what he was doing or at the xray pic which helped me alot too. I really didnt feel much except a little bit of pressure. Within a few minutes he was done, i didnt even know the needle was out. So i got up and walked to the MRI but someone was in there and he was taking much longer than expected for some reason so i had to wait about 40 minutes to get in the MRI. i was in the MRI for about 10 minutes when they took me out an said that they think too much time had passed because of the guy ahead of me and they werent getting a clear picture with the injected material, that they need to inject again to get the best possible picture. so back to the fluoro room again for a second injection. this one i felt more pressure, but still nothing horrible. This time i was walked right into the machine and they started right away and they got a much better picture. I did drive home without a problem. I did walk around a bit after just to keep the joint loose as i felt that it was stiffening a little. maybe that was a mistake because it really ached overnight last night and i slept very little. a few hours after the injections i was a little nauseated too, but never got sick. i am sore today but just plan on taking it easy. thankfully its a saturday and im not working... it for sure would have been difficult to run around as i usually do at work. overall, i think it the skill of your radiologist doing the inection that makes or breaks your experience... my guy was awesome and i am thankful!
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Jan 20, 2013 @ 10:22 pm
Had this procedure performed Oct 31, 2012. I could not move my arm 12 hours later this led to surgery to clean out an infection. Has anyone else experienced this?
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Feb 14, 2013 @ 6:06 am
I had the procedure carried out on my wrist a month ago after breaking my wrist 8 years ago and never having it fixed after parents dint eel the need to take me to hospital however much pain i was in at the time but only being 14 i got on with things, but turns out I now need to have an operation on the joint and a metal plate fitted to the joint, I am back in hospital to find out what the MRI came back with. Fingers crossed it will be straight forward even tho they found an abnormailty in the joint. Has anyone else ever had to go through this??? Thanks
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Apr 13, 2013 @ 4:16 pm
Hi I want to refer to 13 kori's email regarding her hip arthrogram. I had mine Monday this is Saturday and my hip
Feels very strange and very sore!! My dr can't explain to me what or why this has happened the results showed a healthy hip joint. Not so sure it is now rhough any advice please!!!
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Apr 25, 2013 @ 1:13 pm
I had a labral tear. The first MRI with Arth I had was not painful. After the procedure I was sore. I used Ibuprofen and ice which relieved the mild discomfort. I had a second MRI with Arth 3 days ago, and it was very painful. I was sweating, nauseated, and my ears were ringing. When I stood up, I passed out. 3 days post procedure, I'm hurting more than I was before. I'm scheduled for a second surgery due to sutures busting. I am a RN, sometimes ignorance is bliss. I would definite suggest eating before procedure. Call your Ortho DR, and get an anti-anxiety med. Lie if you have to, and tell the Dr your extremely anxious before procedures, and extreme anxiety in confined places. Good luck!
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Jun 15, 2013 @ 7:07 am
Shock horror - handicapped, pain after 3.5 years, as I write, a burning sensation in my wrist.

I had this procedure done in France, in my wrist to check the ligament in my thumb. Before the arthrography the radiologist asked me which ligament he was to test! Excrutiating pain for days afterwards. Could not brush my hair hold a folk. 10 days later still lots of pain. Saw radio and he said "Oh, someone had a complication this day". He went to check the records and told me it was me. He had injected iodine into the tendon (and maybe radial nerve).

I went back to the surgeon who proposed the surgery and he gave me an examination for free but now diagnosis. The hospital never replied to a letter of complaint (signed for delivery) - Polyclinique Aguilera, Biarritz, Dr Monteiro. The pain gradually got less but it never disappeared. I have a burning sensation in my wrist when ever I type or use my fingers. I had to stop studying my degree (I later finished) and have to stop writing every few minutes. I am handicapped, I can't type! My quality of life has reduced drastically.

I have seen numerous professionals including two neurologists, two surgeons, and GPs. No-one know what it is. It is ruining my life. Can anyone give me any advice? If not, I just want to make you aware that complications happen.

Best wishes

Clare McGowan
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Jun 21, 2013 @ 8:08 am
After reading sum horror stories on here,by time i got to the hospital to have my shoulder arthogram,i was in such a panic and almost reduced to tears.there was 3 medical people in the room with me,i was absolutely petrified but id like to try n put someones mind at ease.for me it wasnt as bad as id expected,the initial injection of anesetic stung slightly,the injection of the dye was uncomfortable but not painful,i was aware of some presure but that was a pleasant relief.i must admit that when i went into the mri scanner straight after i was put in a terrible position which maximised my pain. The worst part of the whole thing was from a hour or two after the procedure,my shoulder was inflamed and i felt nauseus and slightly dizzy,i went straight home to bed and slept it off like u wud the flu,i generally felt achey and tired,all youve got to think is u will be one step closer to being pain free when they diagnose the problem.try not to worry,it wont be as bad as u think and u will get thru it. Gud luck xx
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Jul 5, 2013 @ 10:10 am
due to my shoulder dislocating 3 times I was booked in for this procedure this morning. The doctor explained the procedure 1st the needle went into my shoulder which was a little bit uncomfortable then he said now as the air fills the area you will feel as if your shoulder is dislocating my god he was not joking it was absolutely horrendous instant sensation as if it had popped out of joint I stood up to walk to the ct scanner and nearly passed out. the pain is easing now and its 6 hours after having it, doctor explained it would probably take 10 hrs to disperse! that was the 1st time ive had it and the last never again :-(
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Jul 17, 2013 @ 2:02 am
I had this done on my shoulder yesterday and it was horrible! I had a regular MRI done in December and it was a traumatizing experience, as I am claustrophobic. I was stressing about this MR Arthrogram the past month. I did not know what to expect. My friends who have this done said they just got a regular shot in the arm and it was over in less than a minute.
I took a Xanax before my appointment because I was feeling stressed and anxious. They had me lie down on the xray table and they covered my face and neck with a sterile cloth so I couldn't see what they were doing. The doctor did not explain much of anything to me. He just told me that the initial shot was anesthesia and that it would sting, and it did a little bit. After that, he went in with another needle and I felt scraping in the joint. He would check his machine for something and go in again with the needle. He did this 4 or 5 times. I don't know why he had to go in so many times. Finally, he said he was going to inject the contrast and that my shoulder would feel full.
After he administered the contrast, I went to the bathroom to change out of the hospital gown. In about a minute, I felt blood rush to my head, and I was severely lightheaded and dizzy. I could barely put on my clothes. When I turned around to leave the bathroom, I almost fell over. I walked out and the nurse asked if I was okay, and I was not. I had blurred vision and heard buzzing in my ears. She assisted me to a chair, where I had trouble sitting down. She called another nurse in to check my vitals. I had high blood pressure but they suspected it was due to my nerves.
They said that reaction does not normally happen. They said it could have been a mixture of my stress and anxiety and a little reaction to the contrast and maybe a little reaction with the Xanax. With all of this going on, I started to get a migraine (I also get chronic migraines).
Suffice it to say that the MRI part of the procedure was also horrible, because of my claustrophobia and the migraine I had just got. The whole procedure took about two hours, because of all the setbacks.
I really hope I never have to go through this again.
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Aug 23, 2013 @ 4:16 pm
I had the MRA done on my hip. I have no issue with needles, the procedure was painless, and actually relieved my hip pain although only briefly. A slight sting for the lidocaine, then pressure/not really pain with the actual injection, just breathe slowly, and it's over before you know it! For the amount of time the numbing agent was effective, I was thrilled with the pain relief. Once the lidocaine wore off, the worse I felt was a heaviness in my hip/leg which made me slightly more unstable than usual. The MRA confirmed the suspected labral tears and FAI, femoral acetabular impingement, due to hip dysplasia and degenerative joint disease. With that very helpful information, I was able to schedule my second THR, total hip replacement, which was almost as easy as the first one 7 years ago. Unfortunately, I have persistent bursitis issues, a royal pain in the hip. This too shall pass.
Try going in with a positive attitude and good breathing technique (Yoga style works for me!). The value of the MRA should be appreciated. It can reveal and/or rule out issues which the standard MRI can not. For those of you suffering in pain for years with no definitive diagnosis, it could be, as it was for me, the tool which will finally provide the answers you seek and placement on the path to pain relief and healing.
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Sep 10, 2013 @ 8:20 pm
Had a MRI-A done on my right hip today. Honestly between the lidocaine and the actual injection it was no worse than a paper cut. Took me right in to get the MRI, put a set of headphones on me; asked me what channel I'd like to hear on Pandora and I actually fell asleep. It was a little sore afterwards but around 5 hours later and it is hurting a lot. Hopefully tomorrow it will go away. So overall the procedure was fine but the after effects are much worse. My hip is killing me right now.
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Oct 11, 2013 @ 1:13 pm
I had my left hip mri-a'd on Sept 30th. Pretty straight forward procedure, much like Roberts above.
However, progressively the pain has gotten worse - way worse than even before my diagnosis of osteoarthritis - very sore dull ache but coupled with excruciating sharp pains with each movement. I can barely put weight on the leg, it hurts to move it, and even lying down doesn't seem to relieve any of the pain. The doctor prescribed codeine which ive been taking with paracetamol and ibuprofen but it hasnt touched the pain.
ive been in tears for hours at the intensity of the soreness that seems to throb and at times a sensation that resembles the heavy feeling during the injection. it almost feels like the leg is too long and to put weight on it / straighten it would push the hip through the socket. it feels like i need my leg pulled out, cleaned and out back.
im in agony and dont know what to do, please help!
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Oct 28, 2013 @ 12:12 pm
I am nurse I have had 5 years of injections , physical therapy, fluid drained from the joint . Not to mention a bursectomy. I have been told I have hip dysplasia , arthritis and need a hip replacement by 3 different doctors. I have suffered for years constant hip thigh butt pain and burning groin. Can't sleep and now insurance is yet again denying my replacement unil I have this arthrogram. I walk tipped to the side and was told now my right leg is 1 inch shorter than my left. Still workin 3 12 to 14 hour shifts and am just discouraged. Has anyone been denied this many times ? I'm tired of the pain and injection s and paying thousands. Just looking for some prayers and advice. No one understands but those who have been through this. Thanks for reading, apologies for the length.
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Dec 29, 2013 @ 10:10 am
Hello, I had this procedure (MRI with contrast fluid) done on my left shoulder about a year ago and only had minor pain. I had this procedure done to my right hip joint using the contrast fluid/dye 3 days ago. The procedure itself was mildly painful and I felt good until about 8 hours later. Then the pain set in. I had horrible excruciating pain in my hip and knee when I went to bed and the pain woke me up numerous times during the night. I was unable to put any weight on my leg when I woke up and I had a very intense excruciating and throbbing pain that was persistent. I took Tramadol and Advil for pain and it did nothing. I'm in day day 3 now and I still have significant pain and can not put weight on my leg, however, the pain is somewhat milder than the first day after the procedure. I had this done on Friday so I can not contact my doctor until Monday. I suggest asking your doctor for some good strong pain medicine to take after the procedure and don't have it done on Friday where you can not contact your doctor. "What don't kill you will make you stronger" so I've been told.
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Jan 31, 2014 @ 11:11 am
I've just had this done today on my shoulder. Was uncomfortable but fairly bare able. The nurses were great and the doctor very professional. After they inject the dye they then inject oxygen and that inflates the joint and makes it feel like it's dislocated again. It's now 7 hours since I had it done and when I move my shoulder I can hear all the liquid swishing around. Very strange. I wonder how long it will take till it's back to normal.
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Jun 9, 2014 @ 5:17 pm
I had this done on my right shoulder yesterday. The lidocaine injection was horribly painful. The contrast injection did not hurt. Today I cannot move my arm as the pain is so bad. I was sedated for the mri as I cannot go in that machine due to panic attacks. Never again.
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Jul 1, 2014 @ 6:18 pm
I just had one today. I'm only 15 years old. The doctors were surprised with me. They were saying how they often have grown men squirming and complaining about the pain. They said that I had an amazing pain threshold.
I honestly didn't not feel it much. I felt a slight inch when they put in the first injection, but the pinch was no worse than any other shot. I could feel him poking me, but nothing actually hurt. I was surprised when it was done because I hadn't really felt anything. The only thing that bothered me was the fact that the paper on my shoulder just covered my eyes so I couldn't see what he was doing. My arm is a little tense from the liquid being in there, but nothing hurts.
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Jul 6, 2014 @ 8:08 am
I had this procedure done on my right hip 3 days ago. My Dr. was FANTASTIC. I don't do well with needles but didn't feel any pain, he gave me more pain medicine because he said I have more muscles in my hip than he was used to seeing and sometimes going through muscle is harder for the needle to penetrate. The only discomfort I had after was range of motion and a bit of stiffness. The nurse told me to use ibuprophen and ice packs for the next couple of days. I had no pain at all, no bruising, just a little bit of swelling. My hip actually feels better than it did when I went in. I am attributing that to the "cocktail" of dye they injected. I was told it had a bit of a steroid in it. If you have good nurses and a great Dr, you should be fine with this procedure.
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Jul 23, 2014 @ 1:13 pm
I have a laberal and a slap tear of my right shoulder
I have had X-rays , MRI , and attempted today to have a arthogram
Done however the doctor could not inject the contrast into the joint
She said she had done hundreds of them and have never been unable to do the test
She said a small amount may have gone in. He was using a ultrasound to guide her way between the joint
And could see the needle but it just wouldn't inject I could see her trying now my question is how can I proceed to get my repair done
23 years ago I had a torn rotator cuff and had it repaired if that helps with the reason why this test could not be done the constant dagger in my arm feeling
Is to much
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Jul 25, 2014 @ 10:10 am
I had this procedure done for shoulder mri/contrast for the third time. Not sure why, but this was the first time I had a very bad recovery reaction. I was whoozy right after, though I denied it when asked. It was almost as though I had too much to drink and was embarrassed to admit it (and no, I didn't have anything to drink!). The dye injection procedure was completed by a Physician's Assistant (PA) and this made me uncomfortable as all the previous ones were adminstered by a physician with a nurse or PA in the room. There was no doctor anywhere supervising - not even one visible on the floor after. I was not given a choice either to have a doctor administer this. I always thought it was required that we be given a choice as to whether we are taken care of by a PA or an MD. The MRI took way longer than any of the others (about 90 minutes compared to prior 40 minutes). The MRI tech only checked in with me 3x's during this procedure (which is not much when you consider how long 90 minutes takes). During the MRI I began getting sudden sinus congestion that was pretty significant. I had to ask about whether I could swim competitive workouts or races the next day, and was told by the PA it may be better to wait 48 hrs. Other than this, I was not warned about nausea or whoozy symptoms and so it made me wonder when they asked as to whether there was just something wrong with me that I was feeling this way. After it was early eve, so I had dinner and one glass of wine and within 1 hr of that I was flat on my back with a massive headache, nausea, sinus congestion, and sweats. This lasted 3 days. The shoulder is still tight and sore. The PA should have outlined all this and provided me with an aftercare procedure that outlined these factors. People should not drink alcohol after considering this may worsen the effects. Instead, we should all be drinking massive amounts of replenishing fluids to flush the dye out of our system.
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Jul 29, 2014 @ 2:14 pm
Pain Pain Pain ... I had a MRI with contrast dye into my left hip. Went in with no pain. 9 weeks later im still in pain Shock horror - handicapped, pain after 9 weeks!!!, as my pain dont stop. Doctor suggest treatment to get the contrast out of my body sent me for Ozone I can't walk on my left leg. Nobody can tell me why im in so much pain after MRI with contrast. Im crying for help. What can I do to stop my pain?
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Aug 21, 2014 @ 2:14 pm
i am a diabete have kidney problem should I take this test . I can't take mri because of the kidneys. i'll let my kidney doctor know.
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Aug 30, 2014 @ 11:23 pm
That was nice to read all reviews, but so bad, what u can't to ask people, what happened afterwords?
I am 24 hours after hip MRI with dye, Horrible pain in my hip, plus fever start. Never again in my life!
So bad, what I didn't find this forum 48 hours ago.
Bobbie Barnett
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Sep 11, 2014 @ 9:09 am
I just had this done yesterday on right hip !! I'm in terrible pain cant move my leg my toes !! Muscles are sore can't put pressure on it. Called dr. Nothing they can do.
mike benjamin
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Sep 12, 2014 @ 9:21 pm
I just had this done this morning on my right shoulder. Was given no lidacaine just a topical for the needle. I almost went through the roof. The nurse had to hold me in place. The MRI was no problem at all. Nurse said to use my shoulder as much as i can to help dissipate the dye. 9 hrs later and cant move it. Wish they would tell us the facts i just hope this is worth the pain to find out why i have limited motion of my arm.
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Sep 23, 2014 @ 7:19 pm
Had this procedure on my wrist 6 days ago. Pain started in my wrist and worked it's way up to my forearm until the pain reached my arm pit. Today, 6 days post I am still sore and my entire arm is bruised. I am told I had a bad reaction however, extreme pain and bruising was not explained as a reaction until I went back to the doctor to complain. I do not suggest this procedure to anyone.
Jen Adams
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Oct 5, 2014 @ 8:20 pm
Wow. I'm an RN After reading all these horror stories I have decided to refuse to go through with the arthrogram on my shoulder. I injured it practicing yoga 6 months ago. I have decided to deal with the pain. Some diagnostic tests just aren't worth it. I appreciate reading everyone's experiences.
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Oct 10, 2014 @ 4:16 pm
I had the dye injected into my left shoulder. No pain during the procedure but during these last few days, it has been nearly dibilitating. I have never experienced such pain in my life. I am just curious if anyone has had a similiar experience ??
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Oct 30, 2014 @ 12:12 pm
The majority of these comments claim that an arthrogram is very painful and the most pain they've experienced. I will say it was not very painful at all. I just had one yesterday on my shoulder. I was in hysterics going in and almost had an anxiety attack. But the nurse and radiologist were so assuring and made me feel better about the procedure. I had two injections of local anesthesia which i barely felt. The nurse was spraying a cold numbing spray during the local injections, so I barely felt them. I babbled to the nurse about so many topics during the dye injection which distracted me. I will say that I did feel when the needle with the dye passed through my rotator cuff, but it was just a small twinge of pain. I am wearing a sling today just as a precaution, because it is a little difficult to move my shoulder. I think the bottom line is it just depends who is doing the procedure, but it is over in like 5 minutes. Don't worry about the pain because there isn't much pain.
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Nov 6, 2014 @ 11:23 pm
I had an arthrogram on my left shoulder today. I am a veteran of orthopedic surgeries and procedures, so I wasn't too concerned. I have had dozens of cortisone injections into my knee, as well as both shoulders, and one hip. I was told by the surgeon's nurse, and by the nurse in radiology that this would be way less painful than a needle into the knee. Well, they were wrong. Cortisone injections are somewhat uncomfortable, but not really painful to me. The Synvisc injections were a little painful, but nothing compared to this. The lidocaine pinched and then burned, but no big deal. Then the Dr (radiologist) started moving a needle around in my shoulder, which in theory wasn't supposed to hurt, but it hurt pretty bad. I kept jumping from the pain, just a reflex. Finally he put in some more lidocaine, but it didn't help. He dug around in shoulder for quite a while, and I was sobbing, which made it hard to stay still. He said that he thought I was having more pain because I had a lot of scar tissue from my rotator cuff surgery one year ago. Also, he kept hitting the top of the humerus (sp), which he said doesn't normally have nerves around it, but I guess mine does. Anyway, it was horrible! Finally he said he was going to start injecting the gadolinium, which is what I thought he was doing the whole time. That part was uncomfortable, but not too painful. The MRI itself was not bad. I've had several. They told me not to lift anything or do much the rest of the day, but that's it. I am really, really sore. Well, I was already sore, but it's much worse now. After reading this thread, I have been icing for the last 20 minutes, and will do so again in another hour or so. I also took a healthy dose of ibuprofen. Hopefully that's okay, since they didn't tell me not to. I guess everyone's anatomy is different. I imagine that previous damage has something to do with how much pain a person has, and the radiologist also said that my shoulder is very "tight". Also, my shoulder was already sore, so that probably had something to do with it as well. Good luck to others going thru' this!
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Nov 19, 2014 @ 1:01 am
Had this procedure done on my wrist yesterday. I'm accustomed to pain in this wrist and knew the arthrogram would be uncomfortable. Here's my 2 cents: I don't want to scare anyone but I will be honest when I say the injection itself was almost as painful as my injury is when it is at its worst. I was given no anesthetic whatsoever, so that's probably part of it, but it felt like battery acid as the contrast dye went in and the pressure actually caused my wrist to pop mid-injection. Afterward I just had dull, throbbing pain and stiffness. The MRI imaging process took about 45 minutes and I was out of there with a Vicodin and a band-aid. I would say it took almost 24 hours for my wrist to recover. If the injection itself had lasted much longer though, I must admit I would probably have asked my doctor to stop and give me a local. I was a little light-headed after the injection, but I think that was just from the pain itself because I showed no other signs of any type of adverse reaction to the dye.

That said, I've had more painful procedures done for less urgent things. If you're suffering from a chronic wrist injury, a few moments of pain is a small price to pay. Be prepared when you walk in for the injection- perhaps ask for a local anesthetic if you feel you need it- but I can tell you that even without it the worst of the pain only lasts a few seconds before it begins to taper off. Just grit your teeth and you're through it.

Reading through the comments, it seems like there's great variance in people's experiences, but those that got lidocaine seem to have fared well for the most part- and of course you're more likely to post about a bad experience than a good one. If you ask me, the bottom line should be ask questions, trust your doctor, and ask for a local!
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Dec 13, 2014 @ 5:17 pm
I had the procedure on my hip yesterday as well as MRI. It is about 26 hours ago now. I am claustrophobic as well as have anxiety with medical procedures. I asked for sedation. The nurse (I think she was a nurse or could have been a tech nowadays) told me she wasn't going to give me the sedation until after the authrogram but after having an anxiety attack and giving a piece of my mind, the nurse got me the sedation. It tasted horrible, but thank goodness for that because I wouldn't have made it through the procedure. It kicked in and I just focused on keeping my hand crossed as he put the needle in and tried to relax. I felt everytime he injected more fluid - from reasonable pressure to my muscle twitching, to wanting to jump off the table. When they were talking to me I did much better, but had to ask several times for the nurse to talk to me to distract me. She did put her hand on my arm at one point which helped. Finally it was over!!! But then to my horrible surprise, I could barely move my left leg. I had to swing my body to the right side to get off the table, and normally I go to the left. I could barely put pressure on it and was wheeled down for the MRI. They had trouble getting the MRI table adjusted from the person before me that broke the table. Or that is what they said and they had to reset it. They had me standing for about 2 minutes on one leg and I couldn't take that so they got the wheelchair for me to sit back in and after about another 5 minutes I got on the table. They had to help me move my left leg as it was very difficult but the sedation was keeping me calm. I did fall asleep during the MRI, which was very nice. I asked for a towel to put over my face so that when/if I opened my eyes I would just see the wash cloth. The MRI was a piece of cake. Then I was wheeled out when it was over to my dad's car - they had him pull up close - and I had to use my left arm to help move my left leg into the car --- still can't believe this!! Took it easy and my back was not hurting or my hip. Slept really well for the first time in along time. No hip pain or back pain. Then I went and got a gentle massage this morning and my leg was moving about 50% better, but still moving crazy slow. BUT then I decided to try to go to toys r us and do some Christmas shopping. I slowly crept along to the store and was exhausted and butt/hip/leg killing me. It took me about 5 minutes to walk 20 feet to go from the entrance to the exit using the shopping cart and then about another 5 minutes to make it down the ramp (going down the incline was easy?) Then I waited a couple of minutes went another 20 feet, took a break and continued this until I got to my car. I am now sitting in the lazy boy writing this and looking for answers. I was given no written instructions or information on pain killers, heating pads or ice packs, etc so I appreciate hearing what others were told to do. I haven't moved in about an hour and got my husband to get me some ibuprofen - the pain is mostly bearable now, just a dull throb, but I can barely walk/raise my leg to walk :-( Not looking forward to moving. Get the results on Monday and I am desperate for answers.
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Dec 30, 2014 @ 11:11 am
I had an MRI and Arthrogram with lidocaine yesterday of my right shoulder. It was the worst pain I've ever experienced in my life and then spent 30 minutes in the MRI, feeling like my shoulder was separating and being pulled apart!!! Now I know pain, since I've broken my L leg 2 times, torn ACL & MCL, torn medial meniscus and removal, & torn achilles. Nothing compared to the pain I experienced. I only hope that someday the radiologist has a shoulder injury and some physician does the same procedure on him and not give enough time for the lidocaine to work before jamming needle through my shoulder.
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Jan 24, 2015 @ 1:01 am
I had a hip arthrogram and i found the experience dreadful. I am a nurse, I am not afraid of needles, but my doctor suggested taking Ativan prior to the procedure as i may find the MRI
would make me anxious. When I was given a local anesthetic, there was barely a pinch, the radiologist explained everything he was doing. I have had an analgesic/steroid injection in the
same hip previously which went very smoothly. I was hoping this would be the same. It felt like the needle was being pushed in further, I told the radiologist I could feel that, then I felt
the pressure of the contrast dye going in, more pressure then a sudden shooting pain like a bomb going off into my whole leg down to my knee. It felt like a huge cramp, throbbing!!
I cried out and asked if I could move my leg. The radiologist said he had to put in the rest of the dye (so that is why it hurt?) The nurse sitting at my side said that usually doesn't happen.
I did not see the radiologist again. I wasn't asked to turn my leg in any position for x rays like I had read on line. After moving my leg, crying!! then sitting up, the nurses assisted me into
a wheel chair and into MRI. There I told a technician about my experience and he said maybe the radiologist hit a nerve. Never read anything about that on line either. The MRI confin-
ment and all wasn't bad, I had ear plugs in and kept my eyes closed, laid very still hoping the pain didn't come back. I was not given any follow up instructions when I was done. Now
30 hours later, my hip, leg, knee and lover back are painful. Have maxed out on my pain meds. Not impressed. Have tried to sleep but have flash backs about that horrible leg pain and
keep waking up. Well hopefully they will find out what is wrong with my hip and all of this wasn't a waste of time.
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Jan 27, 2015 @ 9:21 pm
I have had this procedure on both my hip and my shoulder. I would rate the pain for the entire procedure at maybe a 2 on a 1 to 10 scale. There is a mild burning pain when they administer the anesthetic, but they dies down in seconds. Then there is an uncomfortable pressure when they inject the contrast. It might take you by surprise at first and therefore register more painful than it really is. Again, it quickly fades to a mild discomfort. I have loose joints, so there was a sensation of the joint wanting to dislocated and feeling looser than normal for the rest of the day. As long as I refrained from certain motions though, the feeling was negligible. You will notice it, but I would not say it hurts. It is possible let to have unusual complications, but please keep in mind that the majority of people receiving get this procedure will experience the more typical responses. You tend to hear the horror stories more often because they are more memorable and involve significantly more emotions than something that goes exactly as expected. I know that I typically do not share my experiences because why comment just to say that what they told you to expect is true? My experience is generally already outlined in the typical "What to expect" section of the procedure material.
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Mar 11, 2015 @ 2:02 am
Had this procedure done today on my right shoulder. It was a very unpleasant experience. It really hurt when they pulled the needle out.The MRI was uncomfortable also because of being in such a tight space. My biggest problem since the procedure is being has been nearly 24 hours and feeling no better. Has anyone else experienced nausea being a huge issue?
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Mar 16, 2015 @ 2:14 pm
Never, ever again! I had my hip injection by floriscopy March 2015. I am a very anxious person when it comes to these sort of procedures and my doctor and I spoke of this three times and three times I was told it would feel like a flu shot, made me feel bad for asking. Anyway I know I have osteoarthritis and need a hip replacement and at this point it was very hard for me to walk.
When he injected the needle in my left hip all was fine I even looked at the monitor an began to calm when the doctor touched a spot that was sore and I shared this with him. He told me I was doing fine and it was almost over all of a sudden I started screaming and was in the most awful pain I have ever expierenced and something he was touching caused my back to cramp.
Has it helped, I am able to do a little more, have been experienced a little nausea , but I will never have it done again without some sort of medicine to put me out.
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Mar 24, 2015 @ 2:14 pm
I read dozens of online stories and comments before I had an arthrogram of my left shoulder yesterday, and I was terrified. I was already blinking back tears when they brought me to the room because I was so anxious. There were three medical practitioners in the room with me and they were very nice. They sanitized my shoulder, placed a small sanitary tarp with a hole in it over my shoulder, and used the X ray machine to determine where my joint was. They let me know the lidocaine might burn, but I was surprised to find while I felt the needle go in, I didn't feel any burning or pinching at all! After about ten seconds, since I still felt a sensation, I asked if the needle was still in—the radiologist said yes, and that they had just injected the first bit of test contrast—which meant they'd already put the big needle in!!! I was shocked, as I hadn't even felt it, and thought we were still on the first injection. The radiologist said she was about to put in the injection (I also had a steroid in with the contrast) so I might feel some pressure or distention. I braced myself but only felt a feeling of fullness. A few seconds later, she said "Needles out, just putting a bandaid on you". I couldn't believe it! It's not fun like going to the beach, but it was merely uncomfortable, not horrible pain. I'm sure it depends on the medical practitioners, but I had mine done at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and I was very impressed and SO relieved, after all my anxiety and fear. I wanted to come back and post so others know.
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Apr 12, 2015 @ 11:11 am
I have had pain in my shoulder for over 2 years. My doctor booked me for this procedure to figure out what the next step of treatment is. I had the procedure done on my shoulder last week and other than a bit of discomfort, I got through it fine. The nurse and then the doctor explained everything before they started and when the doctor started the procedure he gave me the first round of lidocaine but I still felt everything. He then gave me another shot of lidocaine and I was fine. All I felt was a lot of pressure. After the procedure, I had an MRI which went fine as well. They told me I'd have a lot of discomfort for the next couple of days, however, I have had no pain in my shoulder whatsoever. In fact, my shoulder hasn't felt this good in over a year. I plan on discussing this with my doctor but can't see him for another 2 weeks for the results. I would recommend this procedure to people but my advice would be not to panic as it's not that bad.
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Apr 17, 2015 @ 1:13 pm
I just had the hip arthrogram yesterday!! I don't think I took a breath from the moment the needle began entering my skin. I would suggest taking a pain med at least an hour prior. I took one, but did not kick in in time. When it was time for the MRI I was feeling no pain. Today, very sore when walking, and some clicking going on. I can only take baby steps at work.
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May 29, 2015 @ 5:17 pm
Was anxious about the arthrogram however turns out it was unjustified. First I had a regular MRI, then went to radiology lab to have the dye injected. I had a great doctor and didn't feel anything. I watched the whole procedure, joked with staff and then went back down for another MRI. After the procedure, I went back to work, went to dinner and have had no side effects. So--don't worry!! The toughest part is staying still for the MRI.
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Jun 23, 2015 @ 7:07 am
I agree this was painful during the procedure, my issues occurred the following morning, left shoulder was in extreme pain, could barely lit my left arm and of course I'm left handed.
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Jul 24, 2015 @ 2:14 pm
I had the dye injection in my hip and it honestly hurt a lot. They used a skin anesthetic and lidocaine but once the needle was in they didn't help. I held on hard to the nurse's hand the entire time. I don't know if I could do it again. The procedure seemed to take 5-10 minutes which felt like a long time since I was in pain. I was stiff and tender that night and tired. I felt better in the morning. Hopefully it's not so bad for others.
Mrs. Peacock
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Aug 3, 2015 @ 11:11 am
I had an arthrogram performed on my right wrist last week and it wasn't as bad as I thought. I've been reading all kinds of horror stories so I was mentally prepared. It hurt but not bad. I just laid there with my eyes closed and took deep breaths. The whole procedure, including the actual imaging, only took a couple of hours. After that, I went home and rested my hand the rest of the day. It still hurt for the next few days but nothing like I thought it was going to be. Good luck to everyone who's reading this :)
Angelina Graves
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Aug 7, 2015 @ 4:16 pm
I had an injection in my hip today at noon. I have very littl pain. Th doctor at Parma,hospital
Was wonderful. I can.t believe some of the stories I have read.
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Sep 11, 2015 @ 6:18 pm
Hello all. Had an MRI in my hip today, and I have anxiety, I didn't feel this way with my first injection, all though The procedure was pretty much the same, i had no anxiety the first time, but I am experiencing it this time. I think key info is, try your very hardest to remain calm before the procedure, nervousness and adrenaline only make it worse. Try having a nurse close by to talk you through it, and it Wil be over before you know it. I have no pain, i have iced my hip every hour since the procedure and I am taking it easy, walking lil by lil, but not by any means over doing it. I wish you all the best with your results.
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Sep 13, 2015 @ 4:16 pm
I had a phloroscopy injection into the hip socket under ct to last week, I had the worst experience, I felt as though I was passion out,I had severe nausea, I couldn't walk afterwards without help as I became week and disoriented, I was put in a recovery bed afterwards for 2 hours because I felt so bad,I am still having nausea and it's been a week also electric shocks In my leg,I am never ever doing this again ever
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Sep 23, 2015 @ 4:16 pm
I'm also a nurse and to be honest I've had so many ops I don't even bother researching peoples experiences, just the procedure itself. Everyone's experience is personal to them and I don't usually get too caught up in others perception. However, for those of you who are more sensible than myself and read others opinions - well done. The first few jabs are pretty painless, you feel them but not too bad at all compared to the shoulder pain itself. I've had frozen shoulder for 2 years which ain't pain free. I found the dye pretty painless also but if you decided to go ahead with it please be prepared for excruciating pain as the gas and saline are injected in. I have never hyperventilated or passed out in my life but did both. I think if I had been more mentally prepared and possibly taken some analgesia I would have done better. Just my opinion mind. Good luck all who go ahead 😃
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Oct 22, 2015 @ 9:21 pm
I got MRI of my wrist 2day. Everything went fine. Just a little pressure with needle. No problem with the dye. 12 hrs later- I am in pain. Wrist feels heavy and hurt worst then before the test
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Nov 2, 2015 @ 2:14 pm
So I came in here and read everyone's notes. I went to my appointment today horrified. I DO NOT repeat DO NOT do pain well at all. Knowing this about me and then reading these notes I was very frightened. I have had acl surgery and nothing at all compares to that pain. I woke from that surgery screaming. Sorry, told you I do not do pain well.

Well, let me tell you how this appointment went today. I took nothing before the appointment for pain. Went there and let them know I do not do pain well. The doctor said as soon as there was any issues through this to let him know. The doc said he would walk me through each step as we came to it.

They prepped my shoulder from the front. Made me nervous I may see what's happening. Also, I saw the two needles before hand and they are LONG. As the doc got ready to put the first needle in, I looked away. The doc said it would be uncomfortable, have pressure and feel like being stung by a bee. I was uncomfortable, I won't lie. BUT I would not say it was painful. Keep in mind I do not do pain well. I think the worst part was how deep the needle was giving the bee sting sensation. This first needle was to numb me. I would say it had the same sensation as being numbed at the dentist. It sucks, has that bee sting sensation and once it's done it's done.

The doc took that needle out. At this point I again would say I am not in pain but my shoulder is very sore. The worst of the pain is truly over. Now comes a VERY long needle. I am having much anxiety. The doc explained the pain is caused not by how long the needle is but by how wide the needle is. The doc said he goes with the thinnest needle he can to help with this.

I again looked away. A machine is taking pictures so the doc can make sure he is lined up correctly. I continued watching the monitor not realizing until I saw it on the screen that the second needle was in me and the dye was being injected at that moment. I did NOT feel that at all. That took only a few moments. This whole procedure took maybe ten minutes tops. Once the doc took the second needle out it was done and I was ready for the Mri.

It is five hours later. I am very very sore. Not pain but sore. I have been taking it easy all afternoon. I also took ibuprofen 600 due to the discomfort. I feel like I have overly worked the shoulder and will probably have a bruise where the two needles went in. I always have shoulder pain so I think this procedure helped agitate it a bit but again it's just very sore.

I wanted to share my experience since reading everyone's else's freaked me out so bad. I promise I would warn if I had any pain. Maybe because my needle was so thin is what helped. Good luck to you reading this preparing for your upcoming procedure.
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Nov 11, 2015 @ 1:13 pm
I had a hip MRI arthrogram done on Monday. I was completely freaked out. I walked in pain free, happily and prepared for this-- to finally get answers to my ongoing hip issue. WELL LET ME TELL YOU - the procedure is pretty painless but immediately after the dye was injected my pain level went from skipping into the hospital to hobbling out in tears. It has now been over 48 hours and I still have pain and can't walk right. It is really disheartening and depressing. I have been diagnosed with a labral tear in that hip which I suspected all along - but seriously after this the nurse was like "Go ahead and leave and resume normal activity" -- I could hardly walk and now 2 days on I still can't walk right -- very sad. Hopefully this will subside but who knows. I am an avid runner and I am lucky to walk a little right now -- I do have an answer though...
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Nov 11, 2015 @ 1:13 pm
One positive thing might be that no one has come back still complaining - so maybe their pain resolved and it you are having enough pain to require one -- you probably need it (and maybe surgery to correct it) I just keep thinking of the long term road to being pain free - Just some positive thoughts for all of us in pain. MRI-A are no joke
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Nov 17, 2015 @ 1:13 pm
I just want to come back and say that it has been 8 days and I am feeling basically back to normal. I was able to run yesterday and today. Yesterday was a little bit painful but today it is better. I still feel some pain if I rock all my weight onto that leg (like swaying) but otherwise now that I am 8 days out I just want to say -- YES, the rumors are true, but it will be all right. Hope this puts some people at ease since many people who talked about their nightmare never came back and responded
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Nov 20, 2015 @ 10:10 am
Painful YES but necessary for a correct diagnosis of shoulder problem.
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Nov 26, 2015 @ 12:12 pm
I had my MRI done earlier today on my left hip. I have to say it was the most painful, uncomfortable, weird feeling I 've ever felt. Putting the needle in was all fine and painless, but when the contrast liquid was pushed into/between the joints was unbeareable, got me quite panicking, like someone trying to pull my leg out of its sockets, pushing the joints apart. Although it lasted less than a min. I'm sure not everyone so sensitive like me, and it's all worth it at the end to get to the bottom of any health problem.
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Jan 2, 2016 @ 11:23 pm
I had my MRI on my right hip and they said it was going to be uncomfortable but they didn't freeze me enough so it was the most painful thing ever and I was in so much pain. They said 99% of the time it goes in easy and they have no problem finding the joint space but me being the 1% it was way more difficult and it took two doctors eyes to do it because the first one couldn't do it properly and the second one did it successfully after freezing my hip all over. 7 needles of freezing and 2 injection spots for the actual stuff later it took like half an hour, it was a horrible yet nessisairy experience.
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Jan 19, 2016 @ 8:20 pm
Hello all...I was reading all of these posts yesterday so I would know what to expect for my MRI Arthrogram of my hip. I went in very anxious and nervous because of all the stories on here. Well, I had mine done this morning and it was way better than I was anticipating. My radiologist was awesome. I didn't even feel the numbing needle until he went a bit deeper. There were a few times when I squeezed my pillow as he placed the needle but not much different than getting numbed at the dentist. I did not feel the contrast go in at all, no pressure, nothing. I felt a bit sore and numb afterwards but I was fine. My MRI lasted about 30 min and I went in feet first. I went home a little sore but expecting the major pain to hit. It is almost 10 pm and still nothing. I took two Alleve and I feel fine. Hopefully tomorrow doesn't bring more pain but I am so thankful for my experience today. I don't usually come back and comment but I want others who are scared to know that it will be OK. For me, it was a little uncomfortable but no big deal. God bless...
Bobbie Moseley
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Feb 5, 2016 @ 8:20 pm
I had this procedure today, 2/5/16, on my right hip. I was terrified after reading the comments here. My doctor prescribed me two Valium, but I'm not sure it helped. The lidocaine wasn't bad and I hardly felt it. A little burn, but really not bad. The second needle was ok until it hit the joint. That was uncomfortable and I just kept breathing like in la maze classes. The injection was a heavy full feeling. Like a balloon expanding in my hip, but not bad. Overall, the procedure was far easier than what I read here. There was moderate discomfort after the lidocaine wore off. It hurt to take large steps. Honestly, I was worked up for nothing. I did have a slight headache after but I wouldn't even say that was bad. 6 1/2 hours out, I am sore, but I am good. :-)
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Feb 9, 2016 @ 6:18 pm
i just had this done today, feb 9, 2016, you feel a pinch and thats it, i did jerk, but thats all i felt, everyone had me scared to death, this was on my hip, although the pain subsided for several hrs, its back, not sure if thats normal, i hope it goes away for a long time the nurse told me somepatients has no pain for months up to a yr, maybe mine will subside after rest, dont be afraid people i was scared to death, tc
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Feb 21, 2016 @ 3:15 pm
I am on this forum reading the comments because i had an arthrogram on my shoulder on Wednesday morning (17/02/2016), the doctor only injected me once and said it was a pretty easy one. I knew that my shoulder could be sore for up to 48 hours from the information provided by the doctors. It is now Sunday evening (84 hours later) and i am still in excruciating pain. I cannot move my arm without it hurting and sleeping is terribly uncomfortable and painful. It does not feel like it is getting any better and could possibly take much longer. I will be visiting my doctor tomorrow for some extra strong painkillers as I've only been taking paracetamol as advised by the doctors originally. If they told me it would be this painful and take this long to heal, i would have opted for the strongest painkillers from early rather than thinking it will be better tomorrow.
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Feb 23, 2016 @ 6:18 pm
I just had the MRI/Arth done today. I worked myself up into so much anxiety because everyone said how painful they are. Well I had the best radiologist. Couldn't feel them put in the numbing solution and felt no pain or pressure when putting in the dye. I did have to take several doses of prednisone before the procedure and benedryl due to a prior allergic reaction to dye contrast. Maybe those medications helped out with the injections. I'm experiencing no more pain in my shoulder other than the amount of pain I have been experiencing since my shoulder surgery in December. Really the worst thing for me is that they didn't give me ear plugs for the MRI and it was extremely loud and now I have a bad headache.
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Mar 10, 2016 @ 11:11 am
I had an Arthroscopic MRI on my right hip yesterday. The injection of the Iodine/Steroid was ok. I only felt a lil pinch and some pressure when the iodine/steroid was injected. MRI afterwards only took about 20 mins. I too was given headphones during the MRI. The procedure itself is NOT bad. I wasn't told to take it easy or what to expect after procedure. Like 3 hrs after I started having lots of pain and felt bad cramping in my leg, massaging it helped some. Today, the day after, I'm having lots of discomfort in my hip & leg. I'm limping more than the usual and feel less strenghth on it. I'm going to try icing it to see if this helps. I just hope the MRI will help in diagnosing my pain. I get my MRI results in 4 days. To all, hang in there and keep strong. Never lose your faith. God bless you all!!
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Mar 22, 2016 @ 8:20 pm
I had an Arthrogram of my shoulder about ten hours ago. After reading all of the horror stories here, I'll admit, I was a little anxious. The procedure with the MRI took about an hour. The fabulous radiologist explained everything, and even added sodium bicarbonate to the lidocaine to lower the Ph and take the sting out...I felt a tiny pinch, less than any experience I've ever had at the dentist. After a little marinating, he inserted the needle into the joint and then the dye. Felt some pressure and discomfort but the pain was, well, just not there. This evening my shoulder is a little warm and tender, but overall far better than anticipated. Really no fun, but honestly, very tolerable.
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Jun 4, 2016 @ 4:16 pm
Honestly, I was stupid I didn't google the procedure before the procedure, I had it done on my hip. About 36 hours later my hip joint hurts, but in a weird way, like chemical burning, it's not radical but definitely there and constant. The procedure itself was not terrible but it's basically a small surgery, lot of needles going into muscle. All in all I definitely made a mistake, I would not recommend this to anyone who is not considering surgery afterwards. This makes sense only if your hip is in really bad shape and you don't have lot to lose. Mine was not that bad. I will see how it goes in couple of days.
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Jun 10, 2016 @ 6:18 pm
What I read on this and other websites scared me off of this procedure for about a year. I finally admitted i had no other choice and decided to have it done. I was visibly shaking because i was so scared of what could happen, the pain of the needle, the risk of infection, the fear of how much it was going to hurt after. I scheduled this at a hospital because i knew people who worked at the clinic and did my research to make sure i was in good hands. I also had a bad experience prior in an imaging center so wanted to be on the safe side.
I was lucky to have an MD perform my procedure, I had a surprisingly pleasant experience I felt the pinch of the needle and then the "pop" sensation when they got through the joint capsule of the hip. It was a similar sensation to getting blood taken more intense but I was numb and after that i felt nothing beyond pressure. The pain from the test pales greatly in comparison of the pain I have suffered for YEARS. The MRI was like every other MRI I had before loud and hard to sit still but that's all. I had no pain that day, I felt discomfort the next day and it did cause aggravation to my existing issues. HOWEVER, this has proved to be very worth while for me. I wish I had followed doctors advise instead of reading what other people had experienced. I decided to share mine because i was terrified by what i read and found the hip Arthrogram to be extremely useful diagnostic tool. I wish I had done it sooner.
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Jun 20, 2016 @ 12:12 pm
I had an MR arthrogram on my hip yesterday. I have suffered with intermittent moderate to severe pain for 3 years. Now I have always been awful with needles and after reading other peoples experience of this procedure online I was absolutely petrified of having it done. I can honestly say it wasn't anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be. I told the Radiologist how nervous I was of needles so he just injected the local anaesthetic very slowly as the needle went deeper, all I felt was very minor stinging. There was slight discomfort approaching the joint capsule and I felt a sensation of pressure building up there but no pain. The rest of yesterday the joint felt stiff and was slightly painful when walking or lifting the leg but today is fine. Glad I had it done now as I was tempted to cancel it after reading horror stories about the procedure but just goes to show that no two peoples journey are the same.
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Jun 30, 2016 @ 11:23 pm
I went in for what I thought was a regular MRI of my wrist. This test was one of the most painful experiences of my life!!! 12 hours later & I'm still hurting! I pray to God that I NEVER need another arthrogram! God help you if you have to have one!
Linda Mitchell
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Sep 9, 2016 @ 6:18 pm
My 17 year old son is preparing for this procedure on September 20th and I am very worried, I can't share this information with him!!!
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Oct 18, 2016 @ 3:15 pm
I just got home from an MRI Arthogram, was told it would be mildly uncomfortable. Baloney. This was the worst pain i have ever felt. I bawled, cursed, screamed. Couldnt believe how painful that was. Absolutely horrific.
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Nov 10, 2016 @ 10:22 pm
I went in to have an arthrogram of my right hip with an MRI today. I had not read up on the procedure and my referring doctor didn't inform me of how it would go. Needless to say, I wasn't truly nervous until I could FEEL everything. I felt the pricks of the needle injecting the lidocaine and then some stinging/burning as the lidocaine made its way into my hip. The technician began inserting the catheter and I could feel it not only pulling but it was such a deep discomfort and she hit a nerve at some point and my leg jerked if its own accord. She inserted more lidocaine and tried to push it in further, but I could still feel it. She ordered more lidocaine, checked on her insertion and realized it wasn't in the right place and had to start again. The pain was even more intense and she stepped back and said, "You just tell me when you're ready." Meanwhile tears are rolling down my cheeks and I have a high pain tolerance; but I'm trying not to actually scream. She gave me more lidocaine and tried again. When I could still feel it, I told her I didn't want to go through with it and refused to allow her to continue. She threw up her hands and said, "Well if your doctor wants to do this again maybe next time they can give you some Valium and a Tylenol." I was shocked and lay there silently crying. And I'm not a crier. She left the room. The technician helped clean me up, but no one cleaned or bandaged the area they'd been injecting. I was bleeding and didn't even get a bandaid. He did say that if I choose to have the procedure again I can choose a different doctor. I assume he could tell how upset I was. My hip pain is NOTHING compared to that pain--and she never even got to the needle!!! I did go forward with an MRI without the contrast (which they had not done prior to going ahead and ordering this procedure) so we will see if it shows something. I don't even care at this point--I won't go through that again. I've had three children naturally and I would rather have another child than have a needle jabbed into my hip again. It was a horrible experience. I still wasn't numb when I got up and walked out of the room. Now, 6 hours later, whatever numbing agent was working has fully worn off and my hip is killing me where the catheter was inserted. Praying it goes away and doesn't cause additional damage from hitting a nerve. Time will tell. I can't in good conscience recommend this procedure be done unless you're already in severe pain on a regular basis.
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Nov 17, 2016 @ 1:13 pm
I just had this procedure done on my shoulder yesterday. I'm not afraid of needles, nor am I claustrophobic (MRI machine), so I had absolutely no worries or anxieties going in. The doctor, the radiologist, and a nurse came into the room. I laid on the table, pulled back my sleeve (to expose my arm/arm pit/shoulder area. The doctor sprayed something cold near the ball of my humerus, stuck a needle in (didn't feel a thing), said something akin to "...almost done." I responded, "You're good... don't feel a thing." I did feel a faint movement of the needle (absolutely no pain, though), then the needle was out, a bandaid went on, I flexed my shoulder a few times to distribute the dye, then went for the MRI. Eezy, peezy, lemon squeezy. The only after effect is that whatever contrast medium was injected it temporarily took the pain (of my shoulder injury) away for about 12 hours. That was a great side effect! If you're worried about this procedure, don't... I don't doubt that some people might feel some small amount of discomfort from the needle stick (I have never felt needle sticks, so I can't relate), but it seems that most of the horror stories are born out of anxiety going into the procedure with regard to needles, and anxiety about MRIs. I think that, in the hands of a skilled practitioner, most would find it to be a complete non-event.
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Nov 29, 2016 @ 9:21 pm
I've had two attempted arthrograms, one right shoulder, one left shoulder. Both were unsuccessful. That last attempt on the right was painful for a long time. Now I have swelling in the axillary lymph area on the right with pain and discomfort from swelling. It is accumulating fluid, or depositing fat, or something. I am positive for anti dsDNA IgG, so this has me concerned. An ultra sound found nothing, but I know something is wrong. I wish I'd never had either of them attempted.
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Jan 29, 2017 @ 8:20 pm
I need more comments about experience for knee CT.
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Feb 20, 2017 @ 7:07 am
I just had MRI arthrogram of my left shoulder.
All what I can say to you is : I didn't felt anything at all during the Injections. . Lush
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Apr 18, 2017 @ 9:21 pm
Long Story short: Played softball from the age of 8 to the age of 22. I tore my labrum in my right shoulder in February senior year of high school.(2013). I got my first of 3 arthrograms Feb 1st, 2013. It was very uncomfortable. The first needle feels like fire injected into your arm but the area goes numb about 3-6 seconds afterwards. The second needle is what "hurts" the most. It goes deep into your shoulder and there is a lot of pressure and you can feel your shoulder swelling up. I was told I would feel like I had a small balloon under my arm pit (totally felt it). The worst part about the entire thing is the pressure you feel from the needle. It's like someone trying to push and pull your shoulder at the same time as hard as they can while also pinching you. That feeling lasts about 7-9 seconds. After wards its just going to feel very stiff and "slow" when you're trying to move. I wore a sling for a few hours after because I was running errands with my mom and I didn't want anyone to bump me. After a day and a half my arm went back to normal. I got the surgery because the arthrogram had shown a massive tear in my labrum- it was pretty cool to look at! My second arthrogram was July 2016 where I found out I had torn my labrum again- same arm just the back of the labrum instead of the front! I played for a solid 7 months, felt so much pain that I requested surgery from my doctor and he said since you've been playing- get ANOTHER arthrogram. This time the pain was almost unbearable because I had known what the pain felt like 2 previous times and I was getting annoyed with so many needles in my shoulder. It showed a Type 4 SLAP tear. Definitely worth the pain and uncomfort for a few days to find out what exactly was wrong. The pain and uncomfort is something you will never get used to, no matter how many times you get it.
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Apr 19, 2017 @ 7:19 pm
Long Story short: Played softball from the age of 8 to the age of 22. I tore my labrum in my right shoulder in February senior year of high school.(2013). I got my first of 3 arthrograms Feb 1st, 2013. It was very uncomfortable. The first needle feels like fire injected into your arm but the area goes numb about 3-6 seconds afterwards. The second needle is what "hurts" the most. It goes deep into your shoulder and there is a lot of pressure and you can feel your shoulder swelling up. I was told I would feel like I had a small balloon under my arm pit (totally felt it). The worst part about the entire thing is the pressure you feel from the needle. It's like someone trying to push and pull your shoulder at the same time as hard as they can while also pinching you. That feeling lasts about 7-9 seconds. After wards its just going to feel very stiff and "slow" when you're trying to move. I wore a sling for a few hours after because I was running errands with my mom and I didn't want anyone to bump me. After a day and a half my arm went back to normal. I got the surgery because the arthrogram had shown a massive tear in my labrum- it was pretty cool to look at! My second arthrogram was July 2016 where I found out I had torn my labrum again- same arm just the back of the labrum instead of the front! I played for a solid 7 months, felt so much pain that I requested surgery from my doctor and he said since you've been playing- get ANOTHER arthrogram. This time the pain was almost unbearable because I had known what the pain felt like 2 previous times and I was getting annoyed with so many needles in my shoulder. It showed a Type 4 SLAP tear. Definitely worth the pain and uncomfort for a few days to find out what exactly was wrong. The pain and uncomfort is something you will never get used to, no matter how many times you get it.
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May 12, 2017 @ 6:18 pm
I had this done on my shoulder. It took about an hour or a little over. They used a small needle on me, but on larger people they use a big needle which seems to me that it would cause more pain. The initial shot was not bad. Less sting than getting a cortisone shot. When they put dye in, I felt some discomfort. My arm felt so heavy. I did not need sedation for the tube. I just kept my eyes closed and sang the alphabet in my head over and over. Sounds silly , but it worked. If you stare at the ceiling of the tube, you are more likely to get claustrophobic. My arm felt heavy all night. I drank lots of water like they instructed. Also took ibuprofen.
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Jun 9, 2017 @ 6:18 pm
A tip: ask for extra freezing. It helps when the radiologist can't get that needle into the joint due to whatever is going on and if you are prone to panic attacks. If for a leg (hip/knee) MAKE SURE you ask for the pad under the knee and the sandbag on your foot as this rotates the hip/knee to the correct best angle for the needle to get in. Not all techs care or know to do this. This is based on my own experience with 9 shots so far to both hip & knee and what a tech once told me. Also, make sure you eat something - a banana before you go so that your body isn't hungry and then gets that blast of cortisone which activates cortisal/insulin levels and can cause nausea and lightheadness. It's a piece of cake if you have the extra freezing and make sure you have the doctor prepare your body before they inject you. You can have cortisone shots every 3 months. They can mess with a person's body but for some it's a matter of being able to live and function to some degree instead of none at all.
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Jun 9, 2017 @ 6:18 pm
ALSO: do not use any Nsaids the day of or day prior to the injection. This can affect the degree of how effective the cortisone works. You should rest (not do anything) for two days if possible. I usually get mine on a Friday and do nothing the day of or the next day. I let it soak into the joint. My hip is so bad I am doing everything I can to ensure that having to go through those injections isn't a waste of my time/anxiety moments. It is true, it can be the most painful pain because they have to get between the joint with their needle. If you don't have a good tech or good freezing you will feel the needle hitting the bone. Not to scare you - but just so you are armed with knowledge. Any tech that tells you off for pain and or anxiety shouldn't have the honour of giving you an injection. They are being paid to help you. They took an oath. In any case, I tried Ativan and it did nothing for me. Do deep breathing while on the table - deep belly, controlled and focused breathing. It will help. I will never have another injection without freezing. I have a very high pain tolerance and the doctor was trying to get the needle in for three minutes while apologizing as I almost blacked out/threw up/went all prickly and light headed. This is not to scare you but to inform you. And you have the right to stop the procedure if it's bad. Just ask for extra freezing. It makes it a piece of cake and you are in and out. It has helped enormously and I was afraid to have the shots for years and years listening to all the horror stories. If you have to go for repeated cortisone injections make a note of each doctor that give the injection (as most likely you will never have the same one twice) and you can have it put on your record that you will not have Dr. So&So give you an injection and they will put that note on your file. I swear the doctor who tormented me had no idea how to give an injection and he gave me the shot in the strangest area going into the hip. Do not worry about the freezing. You feel a prick and then it's over.
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Nov 17, 2017 @ 1:01 am
My arthrogram was yesterday in My shoulder and overall it went okay aside from almost fainting at one point. I got really dizzy and light headed but once i drank water after the needle, I felt okay.
The part I am really struggling with is the post pain. i wasn’t in too much pain prior to the procedure but It feels like i was in my car accident all over again from 2 years ago. It’s been achy and very heavy and I ended up having to leave work today. I was told nothing about the post pain or how long it would last and i am extremely frustrated...
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Dec 6, 2017 @ 8:08 am
I had an arthrigram MRI done to my right shoulder yesterday. It was not a big deal. Stated getting a little painful at the end of the MRI part but right when I thought I might have to say something they said I was done. Basically back to my pre procedure level of pain today. I did take a Xanax prior to the procedure which did make me more relaxed.
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Jan 11, 2018 @ 4:04 am
I had the MRI dine yesterday in my left hip. I didn't know what to expect as no one explained to me before. The Doc shot about 3 doses of lanacain into met different times hoping that I wouldn't be able to keep feeling slight pain of course I still did . I Hobbled out of the MRI building and back home limping with a lil pain and discomfort. Last night no sleep due to un believable pain , stiffness and burning Can't lay on my sides or back , can't hardly walk. I'm like junkie for painkillers but nothings working. I hope the pain goes away soon
Julie Hatton
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Mar 14, 2018 @ 5:17 pm
Just had knee arthrogram today-thought I'd share since I dint find much before mine.
It was WAY better than I thought! The lidocaine punches/burns for a second. Didn't feel second needle til it got to joint space-I shouted out but it was more surprise than pain. Didn't feel anything else. Still numb now, knee is swollen and heavy, but really don't overthink it it was not bad. Worst part for me was holding knee position because I can't straighten my knee.
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Mar 29, 2018 @ 6:18 pm
hi all, I just had my right shoulder arthrogram today. the most uncomfortable part was getting numbed with 3 shots around the shoulder area. it stung a little bit but overall,
it was pretty mild. the mri went well, but then again, I have had about 10 of them in my lifetime so I am used them. what concerns me is after reading the post-op care instructions, there was information regarding possible side effects so I googled some articles that elaborated on that subject. I came across a few articles stating that chuck noriss's wife supposedly got poisoned from the substance they use to create the contrast and they ended up suing for 10 million. based on that information alone, I would have thought twice about going through with it but I guess like anything else, including surgery, there is always a risk for complications. but as far as the procedure itself, it was not bad at all.
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May 10, 2018 @ 7:19 pm
Hello everyone, I had an arthrogram-MRI of my right shoulder on Tuesday. The injection pinched and then there was some pressure, but it subsided quickly. The problem I had was that after the injection when I stood up I began to feel very light headed and was about to pass out. I became very clamy and began to perspire profusely. They laid me back on the table and put cold compresses on my forehead and the back of my neck and also took my blood pressure which was normal. After they felt I was stable I was rolled down on a gurney for my safety and had the MRI. Today is Thursday and I still fill a little nausea and yesterday evening had some diarrhea. The pain i was able to withstand during the procedure. It was the nause, sweating and almost passing out that I did not like. I still am not fully recovered from the procedure but was glad I had it so I will know for sure what is wrong with my shoulder.
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Sep 9, 2018 @ 5:17 pm
I am scheduled to have knee arthrogram tomorrow . i am allergic to all (cains) so no numbing shot first. what kind of pain can i expect?
Barry Ardner
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Nov 18, 2018 @ 11:11 am
3 weeks ago I had a arthogram of my shoulder with cat scan . 24 hrs later I had intense pain in my shoulder and could not lift or use my arm. Had 5 visits to ER and 3 days in hospital. Numerous tests and IV antibiotics and still can’t use my arm. Seeing an infectious disease specialist an presently having daily antibiotic infusion for 2 weeks. Those treatments may be extended for 4 more weeks. Last ER Drs said they did not think I had bloodstream infection?ortho Dr could not extract any fluid from the joint. I am still having low grade temp and night sweats. Also still feeling sick and wondering what caused these complications. I started PT on Friday. Desperately need some answers.
Rupert Garcia
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Feb 11, 2019 @ 5:17 pm
I just had an MRI scan earlier today and they injected my shoulder with dye a few minutes before the procedure. I lay on my stomach and put the affected arm down to my side while the doctor cleaned and prepped the area before giving me a local anesthetic. It pinched a bit but I was OK with that. What I was not prepared for was the level of pain from the long needle injecting the dye into my shoulder joint. It got to the point where I was gripping the side of the examination table with my hand instead of keeping it laid flat. With my good arm, which was under my face, I almost tore a hole in the pillow they had given me and was within a second of leaping off the table just to get away. Luckily he had finished and he withdrew the needle, but if it had gone on for more than a second or two longer, I would have gone into fight or flight mode. From my experience, if you are going to get this done into a joint, you need to talk to your MD before the appointment and get some kind of extra pain killer to take on the day, as they will often not be able to give it to you at the clinic. Just make sure you have someone on hand to drive you home afterwards!
Jennifer Barker
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Jun 4, 2019 @ 11:23 pm
Had this done on my wrist today. Took 45 mins to get it done right. And I now have 14 needle marks on my wrist as well I don’t wish this on my worst enemy. I can barely use my hand or even bend it. I’m more miserable now than before.
Kathleen Aitken
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Sep 11, 2019 @ 2:02 am
Can anyone who experienced pain for longer than two weeks please comment on their recovery and current status post hip arthogram. I have been to the ER twice and am 12 days post procedure. I am not able to walk on my right leg and can’t relieve the pain no matter what I take or do. I am meeting with doctors in a few hours to figure out what is going on. Looking for updates from some of the posters on here regarding their situation. I am thinking that my life as I once knew it is gone and I am permanently disabled.
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Oct 1, 2019 @ 6:18 pm
I was 30 year's old when I had an arthrogram of my right hip, that was May 13th 2008, they permanently disabled me at Kettering General Hospital, destroying my life, agonizing debilitating discomfort 13 year's later, burning and cramping in the right hip, nerves in my right thigh and groin damaged, I can't walk right anymore or jog, work, my life has been destroyed age 30 by allowing to undergo an MRI arthrogram of my right hip, they hit nerves in my thigh and groin, my leg feels dislocated and muscles no longer contract in my right thigh, I would advise anyone contemplating undergoing an MRI arthrogram of the hip to reconsider, it has destroyed my life and there is no compensation for the clinical disability acquired, the pain is agonizing and debilitating and I will need to live with the discomfort until the day I prematurely die for the detrimental affects of having nerves deep in my thigh and groin severed!
Sheri T Parker
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Dec 6, 2019 @ 1:13 pm
Hey guys, I had a right hip arthogram with MRI yesterday. My right thigh was already in a lot of pain prior (burning, stabbing, sharp, numbness from top of thigh down to top of knee into groin area) so I was was not surprised that I am still in pain while walking. What I am surprised about is that I am in pain while resting with my leg up and I have nerve spasms in the thigh while resting. Has anyone else experienced this?
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Feb 11, 2020 @ 3:15 pm
Just had a right knee arthrogram and MRI yesterday afternoon. I had no idea exactly what was going to happen prior the procedure. I told both the nurse and the doctor of radiology that I was nervous and my knee was swollen and painful so please use plenty of local anesthetic. The nurse said not to worry that all I would feel is a bit of a sting with the anesthetic and some pressure when the dye was injected.
Well, it was a horrible burning and stinging followed by incredible pain, which caused my leg to spasm when the needle hit my knee joint. I was crying requested more anesthetic. The doctor injected more of the anesthetic and the pain subsided. After that all I felt was the pressure of the dye being injected.
Following the arthrogram, the doctor told me no swimming, hot tubs, or baths for several days. All night I had burning, stinging and sharp pains in and around my knee. Today, I took a Zertec antihistamine because my throat glands were painful and swollen. I have tingling around my jawline. My ears are ringing. My knee area fluctuates from feeling cold to hot and is still very painful. I am icing my knee and staying off of it as much as possible. I am hoping all of this will pass. Has anyone else experienced any of this after a knee arthrogram?
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Mar 25, 2020 @ 7:19 pm
A basketball player has been complaining of pain and swelling of left knee. They scheduled him for knee arthrography examination. Is it okay for the patient to undergo that kind of examination?
Heather A
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May 5, 2020 @ 10:22 pm
I had my second MRI w/ arthrogram this morning. I have problems with my rotator cuff. I got my first one 1/21/20 also on my left. That one hurt but today's was awful. The radiologist hit my axillary nerve 4 times. I knew what it was because I got an electric jolt with the pain each time accompanied by an involuntary jerk. Hopefully this was the LAST time I ever ave to experience this. I got an Ultrasound guided suprascapular steroid injection last Thursday. That was a walk in the park compared to today. It hurts like hell tonight. I have taken, Robaxin, oxycodone and iced which usually help. This could be a very long night.
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May 21, 2020 @ 6:18 pm
i just had it done today in my shoulder
the pain was terrible for 2 minutes
after that the pain decreased
pain rate today is at 3 out of 10
don’t be scared
stay strong
for me it doesn’t hurt more than the injured shoulder prior to the procedure
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Jun 8, 2020 @ 4:16 pm
I had an arthrogram done on my shoulder today and was told it should be fairly painless. I have a very high pain tolerance and have had many surgeries, kidney stones, and been through a car accident (which got me in this mess), cortisone injections, spinal taps, you name it. This was by far more painful than I could ever expect or have experienced. When injecting the contrast I thought my shoulder was going to explode it was way more than pressure and I could feel pain down to my fingertips! The doctor couldn’t even get the entire syringe full in. I was hysterical and nearly passing out. She claimed it could’ve been due to fluid or injury swelling. Regardless it’s injured and that’s why I’m there! Never ever again I’d rather go through surgery!
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Jul 24, 2020 @ 10:10 am
I am so glad to find this article and see other experiences and to know that I am not alone, it really is a tough procedure. As soon as they explained to me that I would feel pressure and that they are putting a needle into my unstable shoulder joint to insert fluid, common sense told me it would be awful but they acted like it was no big deal and did not prepare me. The position is uncomfortable. I was scared the whole time that my shoulder was going to go out of joint and it felt like they were not listening to me. I was tensing up every muscle I could just to make sure that it stayed in place. I wanted to ask if I could move my arm but trying to just be still and let them know how I was feeling. I laughed at the comment from someone that they wanted to yank out the needle and poke the doc in the eye! I didn't feel that violent about it but I certainly understand the sentiment! Can I just ask that we demand better medical treatment from people who we are paying hundreds/thousands of dollars to treat us? I made a few complaints to the company that performed my MRI. I was handled like an amazon package through the whole process, not treated with any gentleness or care. I was asked to sign a form that a doctor went over the risks when no doctor had. I signed it so I could move forward knowing that I would ask before they stick me. When I asked, they had the audacity to tell me it was on the form. I said no, the form said a doctor would tell me. Then they went into how to watch for an allergic reaction which is not the same. Since I had read up on the risks I just went ahead with it but was very disappointed that that we as a people have settled for such a low bar of service from medical professionals that this is normal. No one talked to me about the risk of the contrast, or xray guided nature of putting in the contrast or the MRI. No one. We accept a certain amount of risk in medical procedures because the benefit outweighs the risks but I still want the right to decide that for myself and to be educated on what they are. I also can not move my arm more than 6 inches from my side after the procedure yesterday, that is way different than - it will go away in a few hours. I have tried to tell people what it was like and it is comforting to come here and read that others had the same experience. It's not just in my head.
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Oct 23, 2020 @ 9:21 pm
Please read up on this procedure and assess your doctor fully beforehand. I had an MRI arthrogram on my right hip in 2006. It was the most excruciating pain, despite him topping up the anesthetic 3 times.(As someone who has lived with extreme chronic pain for half my life, and experienced countless medical interventions, I‘m no drama queen!) i knew instantly that something was VERY wrong. I could barely walk upon leaving the table and by the time I drove back to work I was shaking and faint. I ended up back in hospital that night with extreme nerve pain that had not been present before the procedure. At that time my surgeon explained that it appeared that my femoral nerve had been burned or damaged. I spent the next 6 months unable to handle even a light sheet laying on my leg, despite being out my face on nerve medications. I was left in agony and suicidal. I’m sorry to say that this pain has never got better and to this day I suffer from extreme neuropathy in my inner thigh and outer hip. I will have to be on medication to handle this for the rest of my life, and later surgeries on my hip (I’ve had 4) have been complicated by this injury. This pain has left me extremely vulnerable to pressure or vibration to the extent that even loud noises can cause pain, meaning concerts, bus journeys, tapping etc are debilitating. while I have learned to live with this, by utilizing pain multiple pain medications, lidocaine patches and cryotherapy, I would not wish this type of pain on anyone. I understand that a reaction this severe is not a common occurrence, however even 1 in a 1000 cases is too many for an image that was ultimately useless and did not fully disclose the issue in my hip.

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