X-Ray Imaging

What do the results of an arthrogram (joint X-ray) mean?

A Answers (1)

  • AHealthwise answered

    An arthrogram is a test using X-rays to obtain a series of pictures of a joint after a contrast material (such as a dye, water, air or a combination of these) has been injected into the joint. The radiologist may discuss the initial results with you after he or she reviews all the pictures. A detailed report will be available to your doctor in a few days.


    • The joint capsule, the sac containing joint fluid, is normal. The cartilage and other structures of the joint are normal.
      • The cartilage is worn down (degeneration) or there is a tear in the cartilage cushion of the joint.
      • There is a tear in the ligaments or tendons of the joint. The tear may be partial or complete. If a rotator cuff tear in the shoulder is present, the dye leaks from the tear.
      • The joint capsule is enlarged or has ruptured. A joint cyst is present.
      • Abnormal material is present in the joint. This could be a tumor, extra growth of joint tissues or pieces of bone or cartilage.

        After your doctor has seen the condition of your joint area, further treatment with medicine, physical therapy or surgery may be recommended.

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