What are the benefits vs. risks of a Arthrography?

March 8, 2010

Arthrograpy is defined as the procedure involving multiple x rays of the affected joint by using the equipment called a fluoroscope. This is that piece of any x-ray equipment which helps to show the immediate x-ray image. The contrast medium is then injected into the person's joint area and helps to highlight the different structures of that joint. Quite often, arthrography is ordered to chiefly help in the determination of the cause of any unexplained joint pain. An arthrogram is that part of a diagnostic procedure that is used to help detect any structural and functional problems that are there in joints. This would also include the person's knee, ankle, hip, wrist, or the shoulder joints. One of the fairly common uses of the arthrogram procedure involves examining and checking the specific joints in the hope of determining whether there is any need for treatment like the surgical correction, or even the substitution of a person's joint with a particular kind of artificial replacement. The arthrogram procedure can also be used quite often to help in making a diagnosis of the cause of pain and the discomfort that is felt in the joints.

Some of the benefits that the arthrography procedure is particularly effective in detecting are the tears or the lesions of any of the structures or any of the ligaments of the person's joints, mainly the wrist, knee, or elbow. It also detects the rotator cuff tears or the damage resulting from a shoulder dislocation. Another benefit includes the fact that there will be no radiation remaining in the patient's body right after the x-ray examination. In these procedures the x-rays normally do not have any side effects when they are being used for diagnostic procedures.

Some of the risks associated with the use of this arthrography procedure include there being a fairly small chance of the person getting cancer as a result of the excessive exposure of the person to radiation. But the main benefit of a correct and an accurate diagnosis does outweigh the risk largely. Another risk is that some patients who have an allergy to iodine can then have an adverse reaction when they come in contact with the contrast material. Since the contrast material is normally inserted into a joint the allergic reactions are fairly rare but in some cases there may be severe cardiovascular complications. Pregnant women need to inform the doctor before undergoing any x-rays.

Submitted by M T on March 8, 2010 at 10:55

Read more questions in Medical Tests